Massive explosion in firecracker storage at Tripunithura; one killed, several injured

The deceased is Thiruvananthapuram native Vishnu. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: A person was killed and nearly 16 people sustained injuries in a massive explosion at a firecracker storage operated in a house in Tripunithura's Choorakkad here on Monday. Nearby houses and buildings were damaged in the blast.

The deceased is identified as Thiruvananthapuram Uloor native Vishnu (27), son of Asokan. According to reports, Vishnu was the driver of the vehicle that carried the firecrackers to the storage house at Choorakkad. He suffered severe burns when the firecrackers exploded.

People who were in the vehicle that carried firecrackers to the storage at Choorakkad sustained injuries. Photo: Manorama News

According to reports, the firecrackers exploded when the workers were unloading it from the vehicle.Though he was rushed to the nearby Tripunithura Taluk Hospital, he was referred to Ernakulam General Hospital. It is learnt that he breathed his last before reaching General Hospital.

Sources of Ernakulam General Hospital confirmed that around 12 people sought medical care within an hour after the blast. Among them, one who is in critical condition has been taken to a private hospital in Kochi.Three others were taken to Kalamassery Government Medical College Hospital.  

Several buildings including houses were collapsed in the explosion. Photo: Manorama

By noon, the number of injured touched 16. At present, four people are in critical condition, say reports. Thiruvananthapuram native Adarsh (28), Kollam natives Anil (49) and Divakaran (51) are the three among the four in critical condition.

The vehicle that carried the firecrackers completely gutted in fire. Photo: Manorama

Meanwhile, Manorama News reported that the firecrackers were taken to the residential area without seeking permission from the police. A vacant house in the residential area was used as a firecracker storage in connection with the festival at Puthiyakavu temple.

Municipal councillor Rema Santhosh told Manorama News that firecrackers exploded while being unloaded from a vehicle. The vehicle that took the firecrackers to the house also gutted in fire. Six units of Fire force rushed to the spot and doused the fire.

Children and elderly, who live nearby, were also injured from the shards of glass from the cracked windowpanes, Manorama News reported. Local residents told that they felt earthquake like tremors during the time of the accident.

Police and fire force have evacuated people from the accident spot and launched a search fearing people trapped under the debris of the collapsed buildings. Excavators have been taken to the scene for the search operations. Buildings in the 2 km radius of the spot where the explosion took place were damaged.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. Nearly 30 houses were reportedly damaged in the blast.

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