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Six arrested for Sivakasi fire tragedy

"Six people have been arrested in connection with the firecracker unit accident. The arrests include Paul Pandi who had taken the property on lease where he operated the cracker unit," a police official told IANS from Virudhunagar district, around 500 km from here where the firecracker manufacturing hub of Sivakasi lies.

The death toll in one of the biggest and deadliest fire accidents at Om Shakthi Fireworks Wednesday at Sivakasi has increased to 52.

Sivakasi fire
Smoke rises from a blaze at the fireworks factory in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. Pic-AFP

More than 75 people were injured in the powerful explosion that tore through one of the biggest fireworks factories in Tamil Nadu.

According to police, most of the dead and injured were bystanders hit by flying stones and other materials owing to the blasts at various sheds where the crackers were made.

So powerful was the blast that more than 40 of the 48 sheds in the fireworks unit in Sivakasi were reduced to rubble in no time.

The disaster occurred around 12.30 p.m., catching those working there as well as others unawares, police said.

The flames quickly engulfed the entire Om Shakthi Fireworks factory because a huge amount of raw materials and firecrackers were being readied for the upcoming festival season. 

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