CUDDALORE: Seven women were charred to death in a major fire accident at a cracker unit at Kurungudi village in Kattumannarkoil of Cuddalore district on Friday morning.
Five women died on the spot, while two of the four others severely injured women were rushed to the Rajah Muthiah Medical College Hospital and died on the way.
As per sources, Vilvam Fireworks, a firecracker manufacturing unit, had opened on Friday after renewing its licence.
Seven women, including the owner of the unit C Gandhimathi, had been working at the unit on Friday morning. Sources claim that the women at the unit were powdering the explosive material used to make fireworks.
The seven women who were charred to death have been identified as C Gandhimathi (58), P Malarkodi (65), N Latha (44). U Chithra (45), M Rasathi (48), R Rukumani (38) and R Rathinambal (60).
Two others, M Thenmozhi (35) and N Anitha (24) are undergoing treatment with severe burn injuries at JIMPER hospital in Puducherry.
The bodies have been sent to Kattumannarkoil government hospital for autopsy, said police sources.
Superintendent of Police M Sree Abhinav and Collector Chandra Sekhar Shakamuri are looking into the reason behind the blast.
Meanwhile, sources also claim that the Vilvam Fireworks unit came under the scanner almost two years ago for operating the unit without renewal of its licence. In a similar accident almost three years back, four persons were killed.