Madurai: At least five women labourers were killed and three others, including a man, were injured when a fire broke out at a firecracker unit in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on Friday, police said.
According to Madurai police, the deceased were identified as Ayyammal, 65, Veluthai, 55, Lakshmi, 50, Kaleeswari, and Surliammal, 60.
The injured were identified as Mahalakshmi 50, Lakshmi, 45, and Sundaramurthy, 39.
Madurai’s Superintendent of Police, Sujit Kumar told IANS that the fire was reportedly caused by a series of explosions inside the unit.
“Due to a series of explosions and intensity of fire, the structure was severely damaged,” he added.
According to police, 30 to 35 persons worked in the unit and most of them were able to escape in time when the fire broke out.
Police also said that the firecracker unit which was permitted only to manufacture certain kinds of firecrackers but was reportedly producing fancy items instead.
“The fancy crackers require multiple combinations of chemicals, and these are highly combustible. That is why, on many occasions, such units ask their labourers to work in the open to avoid accidents, but this is illegal,” an officer said.
The Madurai police have registered a case and investigations are on.