With the recovery of another body, the death toll in the Kallakurichi firecracker shop accident has reached seven, police said on Wednesday.
The fire and rescue persons recovered the body of an 11-year-old boy from the debris of the shop where the accident took place on Tuesday.
The body, found on Wednesday evening, was identified as that of M. Dhanabal, nephew of the shop owner Selvaganabathy.
Selvaganabathy was running a grocery shop and prior to Deepavali, he had opened a small firecracker shanty in front of his shop. He had stocked the crackers on the first floor of his shop.
According to police, in the freak accident believed to be triggered by an electric short circuit, the crackers caught fire. Soon, the blaze spread to the adjoining shops gutting them completely.
The incident took place on Tuesday night at Sankarapuram in Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu. Initially, five people were found dead and around eight grievously injured.
On Wednesday, another person, Nizar (40) who was admitted to Kallakurichi government hospital in a serious condition, succumbed to his injuries thus taking the toll to six. Late in the evening, Dhanbal's body was recovered taking the death toll to 7.
Police said that four of the victims died instantly when a pillar fell on them while they were filming the fire. Two gas cylinders that were stocked in the shop also caught fire and blasted leading to the surrounding shops also being gutted down.
The Kallakurichi district Police superintendent, Ziaul Haque in a directive asked the people to take a no-objection certificate (NOC) from fire, police, and health departments for putting up temporary firecracker shops. He also said that if anyone violates the directive, police would take stringent action.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh to those who died in the fire mishap and an amount of Rs 1 lakh for all the injured and admitted in Kallakurichi Government hospital.
State PWD minister E.V. Velu, District Collector P.N. Sridhar, District Superintendent of Police, Ziaul Haq, and several officers visited the spot and the homes of the deceased.