Sivakasi: Eight people, including six women, were killed in a blast caused by exploding firecrackers at Sivakasi town in Virudhunagar district on Thursday. They were asphyxiated after being engulfed by smoke inside a private medical scan centre.
A consignment of firecrackers meant for sales during Diwali was being unloaded from a vehicle and carried into the firecrackers shop by workers when the blast occurred.
Friction in the fancy crackers is believed to have created the thick cloud of smoke that engulfed a scanning centre situated in the same complex choking eight to death. While the employees of the cracker shop, Sri Raghavendra Agencies, and workers escaped from the spot, around 50 people were caught inside the Devaki Scan Centre. “As the exit door of the cracker shop is near the entrance of the scan centre, people could not escape it,” Virudhunagar collector A. Sivagnanam said.
Only an hour after the blast did fire service officials and police manage to gain entry to the scan centre by breaking a widow. “All eight died due to suffocation and another 13 are being treated in hospitals,” the collector said.