Yet another tragedy in South India, that involves handling of explosive substances, has taken a number of innocent lives today due to rules not being followed. Over 10 people lost their life in a massive inferno which engulfed a gelatine factory in Tamil Nadu at Thuriyar town in Tiruchirappali district. Reportedly, around 22 people are still are trapped in the building even as fire rages. The accident happened at 7 am in the morning and even after 4 hours have passed, the fire department is still fighting to contain it. The building has reportedly collapsed because of the fire and chances of those people still inside the building surviving are very dim indeed.
A spark near the chemical tank inside the factory is being reported as the probable cause behind the massive fire. According to agencies, the intensity of the explosion and fire were so severe that waves of heat could be felt even two km away from the site. The fire raged even as torrential rain was cascading down. In fact, the rescue operations was hampered by the heavy rains. 15 mini units in the factory were manufacturing explosives for widening and deepening of wells in the rocky belts. According to the police, 3 fire fighting trucks and as many as 10 ambulances were pressed into service to ensure the injured were immediately cared for.
Initially, the fire was reported in a manufacturing unit of the factory, but it soon spread to other areas in the building as the employees failed to douse the flames immediately. Police has also stopped the traffic on Arthur road. The factory was licenced and had been operating for over a quarter-of-a-century.