12 people injured in an explosion in a firecracker unit in East Godavari

East Godavari: At least twelve people have suffered burn injuries, including eight who are critically injured in an explosion at a firecracker unit at G Medapadu village under Samalkota Mandal in East Godavari district on Monday morning.

Around 9.05 am, there was an explosion at the firecracker factory (Indira Fire Works) in G Medapadu village. Most of the injured persons are women. The intensity of the blast was so strong that two people outside the unit were also injured in the incident.

The East Godavari police said that they have shifted the injured persons to the Government Hospital at Kakinada and few other private hospitals. However, the condition of eight people is said to be critical as they received over 80 per cent of burn injuries.

Sources in the police have stated that the Indira Fire Works is owned by a local political leader. Some illegal firecracker units have been operating near the farm fields of G Medapadu village. The illegal units receive a good tranche of orders owing to the increasing number of weddings, local deity festivals and also for the major festivals like Dasara and Diwali, they added.

The police are yet to reveal whether the owner of Indira Fire Works obtained the relevant licenses from various departments or not, citing that the investigation is on.

The major fire mishap has once again exposed the negligence of the regulating authorities as it was found that most of the workers in the unit were unskilled, including women.

There have been over 16 minor and major accidents in the firecracker units in Andhra Pradesh since June 2014 and in all incidents put together over 50 people have lost their lives in the explosions.

Sources said that the main reason for the number of accidents going up is the excessive demand from the public for firecracker displays during marriage celebrations and festivals.

A senior officer with the fire service department said that people employed in the dangerous industry were unskilled workers and most do not have any scientific knowledge and they learn by watching senior workers in the industry.

With the growing demand from the public for firecrackers and the business has turned lucrative for the whole year. The businessmen, who are running licensed and illegal units, are tempted to accept extra workload by engaging unskilled workers and maintain a huge stock of explosives and chemicals with just one license or without licenses that lead to accidents, he added.

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