12 die in Warangal firecracker blast

12 die in Warangal firecracker blast

As many as 12 workers, including an eight-year-old boy, are burnt alive and two others were injured seriously in a major blast in a cracker...

Warangal: As many as 12 workers, including an eight-year-old boy, are burnt alive and two others were injured seriously in a major blast in a cracker manufacturing unit at around 11.30 am here on Wednesday.

The blast, the origin of which is not yet known, has led to a powerful explosion at Bhadrakali Fire Works at Keerthi Nagar-NTR Nagar area in Geesukonda mandal of Warangal rural district. The unit produces high power firecrackers and is a major supplier of fire crackers in the erstwhile Warangal district.

According to police, there are 16 workers at the factory when the incident occurred and three others came to buy crackers. The victims have been identified as Komati Sravani (30), her sister-in-law Bethi Srivani (25), Rangu Vinod (25), Kandagatla Sridevi (34), Balne Rahupathi (30), Gajula Harikrishna (36), Valadasu Ashok (30), Vangari Rakesh (21) and Suresh (30).

Suresh died during evening hours while being shifted to Hyderabad for treatment. The identity of three other persons, including the minor boy is yet to be ascertained as they are charred beyond recognition.

The impact of the explosion is such that the roof of tin shed at the factory spread over 2,000 square yards of land was blown up, walls had collapsed completely and everything inside the compound was gutted. As many as six two-wheelers burnt fully and windshield of a car outside is damaged along with few houses nearby.

Commissioner of Police V Ravinder, who monitored rescue and relief operations, said CLUES team is engaged to collect DNA samples of the charred bodies to ascertain their identity. Responding to query whether the factory owner Gundlapalli Raj Kumar alias Bambula Kumar holding a valid licence, he said: “The factory had a licence in the past and its current status has to be found out.”

According to the Divisional Fire Officer Bhagawan Reddy, the factory had a valid licence till 2017. The fire accident triggered two major blasts followed by synchronised blasts for a longer period because of the high power fire crackers.

“It took 45 minutes to control the flames and three hours to bring the situation under control,” he said while locals said the blast sound was heard by public at Kashibugga and Enumamula market area located at a distance of 5 kilometres from the factory.

The officials are still guessing what caused the accident whether a spark from the explosives or electric short circuit. According to the locals, the factory workers used to the test the crackers outside the compound and it may be the reason for the incident.

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