Two more victims of Vembakottai cracker blast succumb to injuries

District collector J Meghanath Reddy said the district administration was not able to immediately evacuate the workers after the inspection.

Published: 22nd January 2023 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2023 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VIRUDHUNAGAR: Two more persons who were receiving treatment at Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Madurai for burn injuries sustained during the explosion at Baby Fireworks unit in Thayilpatti village near Vembakottai three days ago, succumbed to their injuries on Saturday taking the tragedy toll to four.

Meanwhile, it has now come to light that the district administration's joint inspection team had conducted an inspection at the Baby Fireworks unit just a few hours ago before the explosion took place around 3.30 pm on Thursday. The team had detected violations, but the tragic accident happened before any remedial action could be taken.

District collector J Meghanath Reddy said the district administration was not able to immediately evacuate the workers after the inspection. "Officials normally submit inspection reports on the same day and subsequent actions will be taken. But, the officials have now been instructed to inform us immediately in case of violations. Remedial action will be taken immediately," the collector added.

While M Muneeswari (30) and M Shankar (65) died on the spot, M Marimuthu (56) and S Karupasamy (26) with 100% burn injuries, and M Rajkumar with 80% burns were admitted to GRH. On Saturday, Marimuthu and Karupasamy breathed their last, and Rajkumar's condition is also critical.

Preliminary police investigation revealed that the cracker unit owners had leased the facility to V Kandhasamy, and the workers were not provided adequate safety gear. Kandhasamy and the actual owners T Mayakannan and his wife M Arumugathai, along with R Kannan, who was involved in mixing the chemicals, have been booked under sections of the Explosives Act. "Kannan was arrested on Friday and two special teams have been formed to trace the remaining three suspects who are on the run," a senior police official said.

Among the 31 rooms at the cracker unit, seven got gutted and a few other rooms sustained damages. Around 35 people usually work at the unit during the day, and 20 workers sustained minor injuries in the explosion.

India Matters


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