Chennai, Feb 12, 2021: At least 15 people have died and many were injured in an explosion at a firecracker factory in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district, around 500 kilometres from Chennai. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the blast.
"Fire 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 on the ground to assist those affected," he tweeted.
The explosion took place at around 1.30 pm today.
An officer from the local fire department told NDTV: "Friction during mixing of chemicals appears to have caused the explosion".
Ten fire-fighting units from various locations were rushed to the spot to douse the fire, news agency PTI reported.
Chief Minister E Palaniswami has announced a compensation of ₹ 3 lakh for the families of those who died in the blast and ₹ 1 lakh for the severely injured.The Centre has announced ₹ 2 lakh for the families of the victims and ₹ 50,000 for those injured.
"An ex-gratia of ₹ 2 lakh each has been approved from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to a fire in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. ₹ 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured," a tweet from the PMO account read.