As many as 18 people had a providential escape as a major blast occurred at a cracker manufacturing unit at Vennur near Pazhayannur in Thrissur district on Wednesday. The cracker unit, licensed by Mekkanath Prajil, 24 of Vennur exploded around 1 pm after the labours at the unit had left for lunch.
According to Santhosh Kumar, Chelakkara Circle Inspector, the cracker unit caught fire from unknown sources and exploded with a deafening sound, triggering panic in the area. None were injured in the accident as everyone had gone out for lunch.
It is suspected that the explosives kept at the unit exploded due to high atmospheric temperature. The exact cause of the fire can only be ascertained only after detailed investigation, he said.
Following the explosion, five fire tenders from Wadakanchery, Vadakkamchery and Alathur fire units rushed to the spot to douse the fire and the fire was brought under control by 3.30 pm.
According to the labourers at the unit, the sound of the explosion reverberated in three kilometre area around the unit.
“Normally, we used to leave for lunch at 1 pm but today we left the unit 15 minutes earlier”, they said heaving a sigh of relief.
There were two major explosions followed by some minor explosions. Many buildings including five houses, Vennur LP school and Muniyankavu temple, all situated about 700 m away from the cracker unit, were damaged in the blast,” said locals.
“Since it is the peak time of the festival season, a handsome cache of explosives was stored in the unit.
“Though Prajil possesses a valid license, he had shifted the spot of the cracker unit from the permitted spot violating the rule. The police will arrest Prajil at the earliest and will register a case of negligence against him,” CI said.
Following the incident, tahsildar V Bavutty, village officer and others visited the spot. Earlier in the beginning of this month, another major cracker unit blast was averted at Erumapetty in Thrissur on February 28 midnight.