Rajahmundry: Two women and a child were charred and four other labourers seriously injured when a consignment of fire-crackers to be used in New Year celebrations exploded at a manufacturing unit in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.
The condition of one of the injured women is critical as she has received 90 percent burns in the mishap that occurred at Sri Bhavani fire-cracker manufacturing unit in Kommarapalem village between 2-3 PM, they said.
"The explosion triggered fire in a makeshift shelter erected specially to package the manufactured fire-crackers when some of the labourers reportedly tried to test whether the ingredients are in right proportion," Ramachandrapuram DSP Srinivas said, adding that three fire engines brought the fire under control.
The packaged crackers were supposed to be delivered tomorrow to clients who had placed the order for New Year celebrations.
However, the exact cause behind the blast would be known only after investigation, the DSP said.
"We are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the explosion. We suspect that the explosion occurred when some labourers tried to test the manufactured fire-crackers. We will get a clear picture only after gathering circumstantial evidence from the spot," Srinivas said.
The deceased were identified as D Lakshmi (70), K Buji (35) and Aruna (5), police said, adding that the condition of P Annavaram is "critical" with 90 percent burns, while four other women labourers are in serious condition.
According to police, the factory has a proper license to manufacture fire-crackers and no arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry minister P Viswaroop told PTI that steps will be taken to provide compensation to the victims and injured.
"Fire-cracker units must honour labour laws. Due to lapses on the part of some factories such incidents occur", he said referring to the large number of fire-cracker units in the district.