1 Dead In Blast At Firecracker Warehouse In Kerala, 25 Houses Damaged

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1 Dead In Blast At Firecracker Warehouse In Kerala, 25 Houses Damaged

Some shops in the vicinity were also severely damaged (Representational)

Kochi:

One person died and 16 others including women and children sustained injuries in a massive blast at an illegal firecracker warehouse operated from a residential area at Tripunithura near here on Monday, police said.

The condition of four injured persons is reportedly serious and they were rushed to Kalamassery Medical College from a nearby hospital for expert care.

According to the district administration, the victim was identified as Vishnu hailing from Thiruvananthapuram but other details were not available immediately.

Over 25 houses and some shops in the vicinity were severely damaged and two vehicles were charred completely in the explosion.

Though the exact cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained, Fire and rescue personnel who rushed to spot said a huge cache of firecrackers brought to the warehouse was suspected to have exploded together.

A senior Fire and Rescue Department official confirmed that it was a massive blast, tremors of which were felt several km away.

He said the tremors were felt even at the local fire station and they proceeded to the spot alarmed by the huge sound of the explosion.

The blaze was soon brought under control but it had already caused heavy damage in the vicinity and surrounding areas, the officer said.

“We had no clue that a firecracker warehouse was being operated in this thickly populated area. Those who operated it did not seek any permission for the same,” the Assistant Station Officer told the media.

Making it clear that the exact cause of the explosion was yet to be known, he said they were relying on the information provided by the local people who said that the mishap happened when firecrackers were unloaded to the warehouse from a vehicle.

“Local people said the warehouse was being operated in the area for some time and firecrackers were stored as part of a local temple festival. We have to verify such details. But, we had no information about its operations so far,” the officer added.

Meanwhile, local residents are yet to recover from the impact of the unexpected massive explosion which shook the area.

The roofs of many two-storey buildings in the locality were found to be severely damaged. Doors and windows of many houses were blown off from the wall by the impact of the explosion and cars parked in porticos were destroyed after bricks and tiles fell upon them.

Even tall trees could be seen charred completely due to the fire with remnants of the blast spotted several metres away.

“We have lost everything…My house is completely damaged. There are no doors and windows…how can we stay here?” a shocked woman in the locality said.

An elderly man was seen sharing the happiness of not losing his life while a teenager boy could be seen shivering under the impact of the huge blast.

Authorities said an investigation was launched into the illegal storage of a huge cache of firecrackers in a thickly populated residential area.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Venna George gave instructions to ensure expert medical care to those injured in the blast.

The district medical officer has already taken steps to ensure necessary care to those admitted in Kalamassery Medical College and Ernakulam General Hospital, she said in a statement. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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