Virudhunagar (TN: At least 11 workers were killed and 36 injured when an explosion ripped through a fireworks factory near Sattur in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu on Friday, police said.
The explosion occurred when some chemicals were being mixed to produce fireworks at the unit in Acchankulam village, they said, adding the injured had been hospitalised.
The factory building was damaged badly under the impact of the explosion and many suffered burns.
Chief Minister E K Palaniswami, in a statement, said all the 11 workers were killed on the spot and that he has ordered a probe into the incident, while assuring due legal action.
Several fire fighting units were deployed to douse the fire and take up the rescue operations.
Earlier, TV visuals showed relatives of the victims wailing near the mishap site while the injured were rushed to hospitals in ambulances.
Palaniswami announced a sum of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh to those who had suffered grievous injuries.
The Chief Minister said he has directed expediting the relief work and asked the district collector Virudhunagar, home to the country's fireworks hub, to console the families of the victims in person.
The collectors concerned should conduct periodic checks at such units to ensure workers' safety, he said, adding the factories should follow due safety measures in view of the coming summer season, indicating high temperatures then could lead to similar mishaps.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi were also among those who condoled the deaths.
Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
Gandhi, in a tweet, said: "Heartfelt condolences to the victims of the firecracker factory fire in Virudhunagar, TamilNadu. It's heart wrenching to think of those still trapped inside. I appeal to the state government to provide immediate
rescue, support & relief," he added.