Fire broke out on Thursday morning following a blast at an explosives factory near Tiruchirappalli gutting two floors of the building. The number of casualties was not immediately known, said an official. According to a factory official, around 15 persons were working inside at the time of the accident.
"An explosion was heard at Vetrivel Explosives near Tiruchirappalli (333 km from Chennai) in the morning. The ground and first floors have collapsed," said G. Sathyanarayanan, deputy director-in-charge of Fire and Rescue services (central region), Tamil Nadu.
"The fire is under control, but smoke was still emanating, which is being tackled," Sathyanarayanan said. Around 25 fire service personnel were at the accident site. Three fire tenders were pressed into service. "Once the debris are cleared, we would know about the number of fatalities, if any," he said.