Four die as cracker fire sparks explosion
Four people died and eight others were injured after fireworks stored by a shopkeeper in his house for New Year sale exploded around 3am on Saturday at Mohanur in Namkkal district.
DHARMAPURI: Four people died and eight others were injured after fireworks stored by a shopkeeper in his house for New Year sale exploded around 3am on Saturday at Mohanur in Namkkal district. Police sources said the fire triggered the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder in the house, causing extensive damage in the neighbourhood. A forensic probe is on to find the source of the fire.
Thillai Kumar (35), a resident of Mettu Theru and a licensed firecracker vendor, his wife T Priya (30), mother K Selvi (55), and K Periyakka (70), a neighbour, died in the explosion. Kumar’s nine-year-old daughter luckily escaped with burn injuries after onlookers rescued her from the blaze.
Of the 16 houses damaged in the explosion, four were completely destroyed and the rest suffered partial damage, sources said. While four of the injured are being treated at the intensive care units of Mohanur and Namakkal government hospitals, others were discharged after treatment, sources said. Namakkal fire station officer D Sivakumar said the incident occurred at 3am when everyone was asleep.
‘Cracker blaze may have triggered blast’
“Fire and rescue services teams from Namakkal, Mohanur and Karur doused the blaze after three hours of struggle. We think the cracker blaze may have triggered the LPG cylinder explosion. A forensic team is investigating the cause of the accident,”
Sivakumar said. Chief Minister MK Stalin, who expressed his condolences, has ordered a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to be paid to the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured from CM’s public relief fund.
Forest minister M Mathivendhan, Namakkal MP KRN Rajeshkumar, and Namakkal MLA P Ramalingam visited the Namakkal GH and consoled the injured. Temporary camps have been set up to house the affected residents, the minister said. Revenue department will assess the damage and send a report to the government, he said.