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TN fire mishap: Death toll touches 7

Chennai, Oct 28 (BPNS)

The death toll in the Kallakurichi firecracker shop accident touched 7 after the fire and rescue persons recovered the body of a 11-year-old body under the debris of the shop where the accident took place.

The body was identified as that of M. Dhanabal, nephew of the shop owner Selvaganabathy.

The shop owner was running a grocery shop and prior to the Deepavali festival he had opened a small firecracker shanty in front of his shop and stocked crackers at the first floor of his shop. In a freak accident believed to be that of short circuit, the firecrackers got fire and the shop that stocked the crackers and adjoining shops were all gutted after a fire engulfed the area spreading to shops that were close by.

The incident took place on Tuesday night at Sankarapuram in Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu and initially, 5 people were found dead and around 8 people grievously injured.

On Wednesday one more person, Nizar (40) who was admitted to Kallakurichi government hospital in serious condition succumbed to his injuries thus taking the toll to 6 but late in the evening the body of Dhanabal was recovered taking the death toll to 7.

Police said that 4 of the 7 deceased were taking video of fire engulfing the shop and the adjoining shops but a pillar fell on them killing them instantly. Two gas cylinders that were stocked in the shop also caught fire and blasted leading to the surrounding shops also being gutted down.

The Kallakurichi district Police superintendent, Ziaul Haque in a directive asked the people to take a No- objection certificate (NOC) from fire, police, and health departments for putting up temporary firecracker shops. He also said that if anyone violates the directive, police would take stringent action.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin had announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh to those who died in the fire mishap and an amount of Rs 1 lakh for all the injured and admitted in Kallakurichi Government hospital.

State PWD minister, E.V. Velu, District Collector P.N. Sridhar, District Superintendent of Police, Ziaul Haq, and several officers visited the spot and the homes of the deceased.