Sixteen people are feared dead when a fire broke out on Thursday at an explosives factory near Tiruchirappalli gutting two floors of the Trichy, officials said here.
The fire was noticed in one of the manufacturing wings of the factory and it soon spread to other areas. The noise triggered panic among people in the surrounding area and waves of the blast were felt even two km away from the site, forcing officials to stop traffic on Athur road, police said.
A total 200 workers reported for work at around 6 am to the factory spread across 5 acre.
16 people are feared dead, fire officials said.
Portion of the building in which the fire broke out came down with loud noise around 7:30 AM, they said.”An explosion was heard at Vetrivel Explosives near Tiruchirappalli (333 km from Chennai) in the morning. The ground and first floors have collapsed,” said G. Sathyanarayanan, deputy director-in-charge of Fire and Rescue services (central region), Tamil Nadu.”The fire is under control, but smoke was still emanating, which is being tackled,” Sathyanarayanan said. Around 25 fire service personnel were at the accident site. Three fire tenders were pressed into service.
As the area was receiving heavy rains, rescue operations could not be taken up in full swing, though the fire had been almost contained, police said.There were 15 mini-units in the factory which was manufacturing explosives for deepening and widening wells in the rocky belts.
The licenced unit was working for more than 25 years, police said.