At least 54 killed at fireworks factory explosion

Fireworks factory exploding 
By: David Ross 

A fire caused an explosion that left behind many dead and injured.

At least 54 people were burned alive and 50 others were injured in a devastating fire that razed a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Sivakasi, India, which is the center of the fireworks manufacturing district.

The death toll could rise even higher as several people were still feared trapped under the debris, police and firefighters said. The fire was extinguished at night, amid intermittent explosions.

Authorities said the dead, who have been accounted for in hospitals so far are in Sattur (16), Virudhunagar (13), and Sivakasi (21). Two other people died on the way to a hospital in Madurai.

Almost all the dead were workers. Some people, who rushed inside the factory complex in order to help rescue people trapped inside, were also victims of the fire, they said.

Tragedy struck when workers engaged in mixing chemicals for luxury fireworks. The fire destroyed the 48 warehouses located in the Omshakthi fireworks factory, police said. The financial damage as estimated at millions of dollars.