Toll in fireworks unit accident rises to 20

Govt. plans to make basic training mandatory for workers

The death toll in Friday’s accident at Sree Mariyammal Fireworks near Sattur rose to 20 on Sunday, with one more worker succumbing to burns.

The police said J. Vanaraja, 51, of Ameerpalayam, died at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.

Two days after the accident, officials established the identities of three charred bodies. All the three were women from Sattur — M. Poomari, 50, P. Malliga, 58, and S. Sankareswari, 55.

Commissioner for Revenue Administration K. Phanindra Reddy met officials of various departments, including Virudhunagar Collector R. Kannan. The meeting discussed the gravity of the accident and the ways to prevent recurrence of such fires.

When Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives K. Sundaresan explained that qualification was prescribed only for a foreman and not for a worker, Mr. Reddy suggested that a minimum qualification or training be made compulsory for workers of fireworks units. He also suggested that inspection teams, made up of officials drawn from different departments, be formed to ensure that no factory employed workers more than the permitted number during summer and festival seasons.

Later, Mr. Reddy inspected the Achchankulam factory site and visited the injured at hospitals.

Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police P. Perumal, District Revenue Officer R. Mangalaramasubramanian and Sub-Collector (Sivakasi) C. Dinesh Kumar were present.

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