A blaze at a fireworks factory in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, in southern India has killed six workers and the owner, all women, and injured another two. All workers were accounted for at the small licensed manufacturing unit in a village near Cuddalore, 190 kilometers (118 miles) south of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Many illegal factories with little safety precautions produce firecrackers that are cheaper to buy. The industrial accident happened at a time when the state government has allowed industries to resume work with 100 per cent workforce amid the coronavirus crisis. A concrete structure collapsed in the explosion. A crowd has gathered at the accident site.
” Investigation is on into whether they were making country-made bombs and whether they were using only permitted explosives,” Cuddalore Superintendent of Police Sree Abhinav told media. The fireworks sector missed their peak manufacturing season ahead of Diwali due to the coronavirus lockdown. The fireworks industry is criticised for observing poor safety standards and paying as low as $3 (£1.85) a day to workers. A license for a fireworks factory comes through only after clearances from the local police, pollution, health and other departments, but a lack of coordination and the absence of routine official checks mean many factories do not follow safety norms.