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Toll in cracker unit explosion up

Written by: Staff
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Thrissur, May 5 (UNI) The toll in yesterday's explosion at the fireworks unit at Padukad, near here, making crackers for the famed Thrissur Pooram pyrotechnics rose to seven with three more people succumbing to injuries today.

Police said the condition of five of the 11 injured remained critical as the authorities called off the colourful pyrotechnics show scheduled for the Pooram festival on May 7.

State Irrigation Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan visited the spot to assess the situation and asked the temple authorities to extend compensation of Rs two lakh to each of the dead and Rs one lakh each to the injured, under the insurance cover.

All the deceased, including contractor Radhakrishnan (36), hailed from Vennur Vadekkakara Colony. The workers were engaged in making the high-decibel crackers for the Paramekkavu Devaswom, one of the two chief promoters of the festival.

Meanwhile, Paramekkavu and Thiruvampadi sides decided to drop the proposed fireworks show, the main attraction of the famous festival, following the incident.

Several houses in the vicinity were damaged in the high-intensity explosion and the Revenue and PWD officials had been directed to take stock of the losses, the Minister told news persons.

He said a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the incident.

RDO P Saminathan had been asked to conduct the probe and submit the report within 24 hours.

Thrissur District Collector Premachandra Kurup said no licence had been issued for manufacturing fireworks at Padukkad. Cases had been registered for violation of the Explosives Act.

The Paramekkavu Devaswom would provide accommodation and food to those whose houses had been damaged in the explosion.

It would also construct new houses for those whose homes were gutted besides bearing the expenditure for repairing damaged houses.

The deceased were identified as Radhakrishnan (36), Ajeesh (26), Vesukuttan (38), Suresh (25), Sudevan (26), Suresh (25) and Sateesh (22), police said.

UNI XR-JA SC PM1732

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