Explosion at India fireworks factory kills more than a dozen workers

By Jean Lotus

Feb. 12 (UPI) -- More than a dozen people were killed in southern India on Friday in an explosion in a firecracker factory, officials said.

The blast occurred at the factory in Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu State on the southern tip of the country.


A fire official said "friction during mixing of chemicals" appeared to have caused the explosion.

The blast burned about a dozen work sheds and trapped workers inside at the factory.

The precise number of dead wasn't immediately known, but dozens of others were injured.

Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi called the accident "saddening."

"In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover soon," he tweeted.

Modi and and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said a relief fund will compensate victims' families.

The explosion is the second deadly fireworks accident in Tamil Nadu in the past five months. Several people were killed in a similar explosion last September.

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