Toll in AP cracker manufacturing unit explosion climbs to 17

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Rescue work is going on after a major fire at a crackers manufacturing unit in Vakatippa in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
Hyderabad, Oct 21: The toll in the explosion at a fire cracker manufacturing unit at Vakatippa village in East Godavari district today rose to 17 with six more persons succumbing to burns at a local hospital, police said.

The toll in the explosion has now climbed to 17 from 11, after six injured died at a hospital in Kakinada town. The dead comprise 14 women and three men, East Godavari SP M Ravi Prakash told PTI. The victims of the private cracker unit, located at Vakatippa village in Uppada Kothapalli mandal near the district headquarters town of Kakinada, were working when the blast took place last afternoon.

Initially, the police had said that there were 18 workers working in the unit at the time of explosion. Later, Andhra Pradesh deputy chief minister N Chinnarajappa said that 30 persons were present at the site when the explosion occurred. The manufacturing unit where the explosion occurred had applied for renewal of its license, he said.

The explosion had left 9 workers dead on the spot while two others died yesterday while undergoing treatment at a hospital. As per preliminary reports, the explosion was a result of a chemical reaction during the cracker manufacturing process. District Collector Neetu Prasad has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the explosion while the state government had said that steps are being initiated to shut down those fire cracker manufacturing units which are operating illegally.

PTI

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