At least 11 people were killed and 36 injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory in Sattur Town in Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu, on Friday.
Initial reports quoted police as saying that the blast, which took place at 1.30 pm, occurred as the factory staff was mixing chemicals to produce fireworks.
Ten fire-fighting units were rushed to the spot but they were unable to douse the fire because of the dangerous chemicals inside the factory. Initial investigations suggest that the factory was not adhering to safety rules.
Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh for the kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The seriously injured will be given ₹50,000, the prime minister said.
“The blast at a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, is saddening. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover soon. Authorities are working to assist those affected,” Modi said in a tweet.
In September last year, seven women were killed and two badly injured after an explosion in a fireworks factory in Cuddalore District.