Eleven arrested for Sivakasi fireworks factory blaze

Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu: Police in southern India arrested 11 employees of a fireworks factory on Thursday, a day after a massive blaze at the facility killed 40 workers and injured 60 others.

The arrests came as grieving relatives cremated the charred bodies of their loved ones, who died Wednesday when the fire blew up large amounts of firecrackers and raw materials stored at the factory.

A Sivakasi fire victim's husband tends to her in the hospital. AP.

On Thursday, police arrested 11 employees of the Om Siva Shakti factory on charges of culpable homicide and storing explosives illegally, said police officer Najmal Hoda.

Soundarajan, who uses one name, said his 19-year-old son who died in the blaze was a part-time worker at the factory, which needed extra workers to meet the demand for firecrackers ahead of the coming Hindu festival season.

"My son left in the morning, and a few hours later we heard the loud sound of the blast, which even shook our house nearby," Soundarajan said. "Only later I came to know that my son had lost his life."

Police were looking for the factory's owner, Murugesan, who fled Sivakasi town after the fire. Murugesan, who also uses one name, is a local leader of the governing regional party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam.

Hoda said the factory was operating illegally after authorities suspended its license for major safety violations.

State authorities have ordered an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Sivakasi town in Tamil Nadu state is India's biggest hub for the manufacture of firecrackers, which are used in religious festivals and weddings across the country. Sivakasi is about 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of Chennai, the state capital.


Updated Date: Sep 06, 2012 18:13 PM

Also Watch

IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Bangalore eye revival against Chennai Super Kings as 'Cauvery Derby' comes back to life
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 It's A Wrap: Beyond the Clouds stars Ishaan Khatter, Malavika Mohanan in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See