In yet another mishap caused by the flagrant violation of norms, including use of child labourers, by fireworks units, a 50-year-old foreman and his two minor daughters were injured when an explosion occurred as they were clearing waste at a room in a factory making coloured matches, a type of small cracker, at Chinnakamanpatti village near here on Sunday evening. As was the case in earlier incidents, the unit was working on Sunday without obtaining permission from officials to work on a holiday.
Police sources said that foreman Venkatraman, a native of the area and his daughters Munishwari (13) and Kaliammal (12) were cleaning waste logs at Rajaram Colour Matches at Chinnakamanpatti as it was a Sunday. However, an explosion reportedly triggered by friction broke out in the room that they were in.
While Munishwari and Kaliammal suffered burns to the legs, Venkatraman sustained minor injuries. The two girls were rushed to Sattur Government Hospital even as personnel of the Fire and Rescue Services rushed to the spot and put out the flames within 15 minutes. An official of the Fire and Rescue Services explained that the blaze was a minor one, adding that the explosion was triggered by friction.
An official of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there were two kinds of violations by the unit in this incident. Factory officials did not obtain permission from district authorities to work on a holiday, thereby violating provisions of the Factories Act, 1948. He also said that the unit faced stringent action under provisions of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 for employing children under the age of 14 years.
Two persons were arrested for illegally manufacturing crackers in their houses and nearly 95 kg of fireworks were seized from them in separate incidents near Sattur on Sunday.
Vembakottai Police conducted an inspection of houses at Vijayakarisalkulam village based on a tip-off about the illegal manufacturing of crackers in houses in the area and arrested Bagyaraj (28), who was found to possess nearly 80 kg of fireworks. Meanwhile, Thangamariappan (29) was arrested from Guhanparai and 15 kg of crackers seized from him.