11 killed in TN cracker explosion

The temple town, 180 km from here, was on Friday cloaked in grief as fire services personnel were clearing the debris even 16 hours after the blast. Official sources in Tirunvannamalai told Deccan Herald that the front portion of the nearly 50-year-old two-storey house of textile merchant Baba Saheb caved in under the explosion’s impact. Twenty-four people, including five children, were trapped in the debris.

Saheb had a licence to store the crackers elsewhere but had brought the huge consignment worth Rs 9 lakh from Sivakasi on Thursday afternoon and stored them in a room on the first floor of his house, sources said. Saheb’s family stayed in the ground floor, used the rooms in the first floor as a godown and had rented out the second floor, Tirunvannamalai district collector M Rajendran said.

Saheb was not in the house when the blast occurred.The dead include members of his family, some of his tenants, a few guests who had come to his house on Thursday night and some passers-by, Rajendran said. The crumbling structure also badly dented an adjacent dilapidated tiled house, critically injuring one of its occupants.

Police are also investigating the possibility of a cooking gas cylinder in the ground floor causing the explosion. One of the bodies had been found to be charred. A case has been registered against Saheb for grave negligence leading to the deaths. Expressing deep shock and pain at the tragedy, Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi announced a solatium of Rs 1 lakh each to the kin of the 11 confirmed killed in the blast so far, and  Rs 50,000 to each of the injured.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry