One dead, 16 injured in massive explosion at illegal firecracker warehouse in Kochi

One person was killed and 16 people, including women and children, were injured in a massive explosion at an illegal fireworks warehouse in a residential area near Tripunithura in Kochi, Kerala. The blast on Monday caused extensive damage to about 25 houses, several shops and two vehicles in the area. The deceased has been identified as Vishnu from Thiruvananthapuram, while the condition of the four injured people is said to be critical and have been shifted to Kalamassery Medical College for specialist care, PTI reported.

According to reports, the exact cause of the explosion is not yet known; However, officials suspect that a large cache of firecrackers brought to the warehouse might have exploded simultaneously. The incident caused tremors several kilometers away and the local fire station was also affected.

Fire and rescue services quickly reached the scene, bringing the fire under control, but not before it caused major damage to the area. The Assistant Police Station Officer was surprised to know about the illegal firecracker warehouse running without permission in such a highly populated area.

“We had no knowledge that a firecracker warehouse was being operated in this densely populated area. Those operating it had not taken any permission for it,” the official told PTI.

The exact cause of the explosion is not yet known, although initial accounts indicate that it occurred when fireworks were being unloaded from a car into the warehouse. Local residents are struggling with the after-effects of the explosion, with many houses suffering major damage to roofs, doors and windows, and cars parked in verandahs damaged by falling debris.

“Locals said the warehouse was being operated in the area for some time and firecrackers were stored as part of a local temple festival. We will have to verify such details. But, we have no information so far,” the officer said. There was no information about its operation.” ,

Meanwhile, a shocked local woman told PTI, “We have lost everything…My house is completely damaged. There are no doors and windows…How can we stay here?” Can?” In another instance, an elderly man was happy to see his wife alive, while a teenage boy was seen shivering due to the impact of the blast, PTI reported.

Officials said an investigation into illegal storage of firecrackers in the residential neighborhood has been initiated. Health Minister Venna George has directed that injured patients admitted to Kalamassery Medical College and Ernakulam General Hospital should receive expert medical care.