TIRUVALLUR: Four labourers, including two from Odisha, were charred to death in a fire accident in a plastic scrap godown on Wednesday in Paruthipattu, Tiruvallur.
Initial investigations revealed that the fire was triggered by burning mosquito coils placed near a plastic waste pile. Police said four labourers, Raja (25), Amar (26), both from Odisha, Raghu Kumar (26), from Thiruchendur and Sarath Kumar (26), from Kancheepuram were burnt to death in their sleep inside a small room at the godown. A fifth worker, Chitravel (32), who was sleeping in a room near the gate, escaped unhurt.
Over 20 persons were employed in Rajakani Traders, a plastic scrap godown where plastic waste is segregated and recycled. The five men lived in two rooms in the same compound. While Sarath Kumar and Chitravel slept in the outer room, the others slept in the inner one.
On Wednesday, around 11 pm, Sarath Kumar, who could not bear the mosquito bites, told Chitravel he was going to sleep in the other room, where mosquito coils were being burnt. It was only after rescue workers woke Chitravel around 12.30 am that he realised the godown was in flames.
“Our rescue operations were hindered by thick smoke that blinded and suffocated us,” said a police official.