Monday, March 4, 2013

Toll in firecracker unit blast rises to seven

PALAKKAD, March 4, 2013

The death toll in the explosion at a fire-cracker unit at Panniyamkurissy, near Cherpulassery, on Saturday rose to seven with the death of Mani of Mundur at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, on Sunday. All the seven dead were present at the unit during the explosion.

Mani, 49, of Padaseerithodi House, Poothanoor, Mundur was cremated in the compound of his house.

The owner of the unit K. Mohammed was taken into custody by the Cherpulassery police from his house at Panniyamkurissy. Sources in the police said his arrest had not been recorded yet. He is likely to be produced in court on Monday.


The police seized a huge quantity of explosives that was being shifted out of the house of Mohammed. A jeep was seized and its driver arrested in this connection.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Kochi, A.D. Tamgage and Additional Director-General of Police, Northern Range, N. Shankar Reddy visited the accident site, and collected samples of chemicals and remains of the firecrackers as part of the investigation into the blast.

Saturday's explosion comes just two years after a major blast in a cracker-manufacturing unit in the district. Thirteen persons had lost their lives in the incident at Thrangali, near Shoranur, on February 1, 2011. The government had appointed the then Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar as a one-man commission to inquire into the Thrangali explosion. In his report, he had made significant recommendations to prevent such accidents in future. But most of his suggestions remained on paper. An inquiry into the Thrangali tragedy by the Revenue Divisional Officer was not completed even two years after the incident.

Though the cause of the blast at Panniyamkurissy is not yet known, a traditional firecracker unit worker, M.N. Sukumaran, said that in most units, expert chemists were not available to mix the chemicals to make various types of crackers.
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