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Blast in TN fireworks factory kills 5 women

Madurai (Tamil Nadu): At least five women were killed in a blast at a private fireworks factory here on Friday.

Citing initial probe, police said chemicals, which were being mixed and stuffed, caught fire due to friction leading to a series of explosions, severely damaging the structure located at Muruganeri village.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami condoled the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

The victims were identified as Ayyammal, Suruliammal, Lakshmi, Veluthai and Kaleeswari.

Several other workers managed to escape to safety, police said, adding fire service units from Virudhunagar and Srivilliputhur were used to put out the blaze.

Palaniswami, in a statement in Chennai, urged factory owners to ensure all safety standards and directed the district collectors to conduct periodical review of the units and ensure safety of labourers.

He also announced Rs one lakh to those who had sustained grievous injuries. However, it was not immediately clear how many persons had suffered such injuries.

He also directed Revenue Minister RB Udaya Kumar and District Collector T G Vinay to oversee rescue work and meet the families of the victims to console them.

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