Source: The Hindu

What happened: Eight people lost their lives in Sivakasi due to suffocation caused by a fire which broke out at a nearby firecracker shop.

Who is involved: Employees of a scan center, a firecracker shop

When did it take place: 20th October, 2016

Where did it take place: Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, India

Why did that happen:

In a scan center at Sivakasi, a town in Tamil Nadu, eight patients lost their lives due to suffocation caused due to fire. This incident took place shortly after noon when new fire crackers were being brought in to the store. Some of the crackers fell on the ground due to which there was an explosion. The workers who were bringing in the crackers fled the scene. It has been reported that there was a scan center beside the fire cracker shop. The people who were working at the scan center along with the patients in the center ran for cover and on panicking, locked themselves in a room. In the meanwhile, the crackers kept bursting causing a sudden spurt in smoke which contained poisonous gases. While forty one people were saved, eight unfortunately could not be saved and passed away.

Four of the people who passed away have been identified as employees of the scan center.

Incidents like these are not uncommon – especially in the town of Sivakasi, which is a major producer of firecrackers for the entire nation.

Apart from the joy that we receive from bursting crackers during festivals like Diwali, there needs to be more stringent measures as to have these crackers are handled and workers’ conditions. Gunpowder, used in the making of these crackers, is easily inflammable and time and again, there have been incidents like these where workers have got severely injured and in more extreme case, have also died.

What we need to ask ourselves is that, aside from the little joy that we receive, is it worth buying these crackers that cause air and noise pollution, among other things like severe injuries to the workers in these factories.

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A software engineer by profession, I am fond of writing, wildlife, and pizza in no particular order. An AIESEC alumni, I am currently the President of a Rotaract club where I am involved in social activities which I deeply care about.