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Explosion in factory kills at least two in south India

1 December 2016 16:14

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At least two people have been killed and 13 others are feared dead in an explosion at an explosive-making factory in southern India, police say.

The blast occurred at a factory in the Murugapatti Village in the Tirichirappalli district of Tamil Nadu Province on Thursday morning, local police said. Fifteen other workers were wounded, also according to police.

Three firefighting units and 10 ambulances were dispatched to the site.

The rescue operations could not be performed in full swing in the rain-drenched area; however, rescue teams managed to largely extinguish the raging fire. First responders also used bulldozers and drills to search the remains of the building in an attempt to find potential survivors.

A fire, triggered by a yet unknown cause, had broken out in one of the manufacturing units of the factory and had spread to other wings, causing the explosion. The thunderous roar of the blast sparked panic among the locals and its shockwaves were felt as far away as two kilometers from the site, disrupting the traffic on a nearby road.

The 25-year-old factory, largely comprised of 15 mini-units, manufactured gelignite sticks for deepening and widening wells in rocky terrain.

Deadly accidents occur regularly in Indian factories, many of which are small-scale, unregistered ones that do not observe safety regulations.

Back in October, a huge explosion set off by a blaze killed eight people and injured 15 others at a fireworks factory in the town of Sivakasi, home to some 700 similar factories, in the same province.

In 2012, more than 35 people were killed after one of the factories in the same town caught fire, leading to a massive explosion.

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