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New Delhi: A tragic accident at a fireworks factory in Virudhunagar district claimed the lives of 10 people, including four women, and injured three others on Saturday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin sent two state ministers to oversee the rescue and relief operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow over the loss of lives in the blast and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The Chief Minister said that the blast occurred suddenly in the chemical mixing room of the firecracker unit in Kundayiruppu village in Vembakottai. He instructed State Revenue Minister K K S S R Ramachandran and Labour Minister C V Ganesan to reach the site immediately and coordinate the relief efforts, according to an official statement.

#WATCH | Tamil Nadu: Drone visuals from Virudhunagar, where 10 people lost their lives in an explosion incident at a firecracker manufacturing unit. pic.twitter.com/EAQ4uHw7TC
— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2024

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) posted on ‘X’: “I am deeply saddened by the news of a mishap at a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar district. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. I hope the injured recover quickly. The PMNRF will provide Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.”

The Chief Minister also expressed his grief over the incident and offered his condolences and sympathies to the affected families. He announced a solatium of Rs 3 lakh each for the kin of the dead and Rs one lakh each for the seriously injured.

The accident happened around 12.30 pm on Saturday in the firecracker factory. “Nine people died on the spot and three were taken to Sivakasi Government Hospital for treatment,” Virudhunagar district Collector V P Jayaseelan said.

He said that a preliminary enquiry revealed that there was overcrowding in the chemical mixing room and the blast could have been caused by mishandling of the chemical. He said that the factory owner had a valid licence.

When asked about the cause of the blast, the Collector said “it could have been a human error. We have ordered a detailed enquiry by a team of officials from different departments.”