Kochi, India – One person died, and nearly 24 others were injured in a massive explosion at a firecracker storage facility in a residential area in Tripunithura’s Choorakkad on Monday. The blast also caused significant damage to nearby houses and buildings.
The victim was identified as Vishnu, a 27-year-old man from Thiruvananthapuram Uloor who was a driver transporting the firecrackers to the storage house. He sustained severe burns when the firecrackers exploded while being unloaded from the vehicle. Despite being rushed to the nearby Tripunithura Taluk Hospital and then referred to Ernakulam General Hospital, he tragically succumbed to his injuries before reaching the hospital.
Ernakulam General Hospital reported that around 12 people sought medical care within an hour after the blast, with one critically injured person being transferred to a private hospital in Kochi. The number of injured individuals later rose to 24, with four of them in critical condition.
According to reports, the firecrackers were taken to the residential area without permission from the police, and a vacant house was used to store the firecrackers in connection with a festival at Puthiyakavu temple.
Additionally, the explosion caused several buildings, including houses, to collapse, and the vehicle used to transport the firecrackers also caught fire. Local residents reported feeling earthquake-like tremors at the time of the accident, and children and elderly individuals living nearby were injured by shards of glass from the cracked windowpanes.
Police and fire forces evacuated people from the accident spot and initiated a search operation, fearing that people may be trapped under the debris of the collapsed buildings. Excavators were brought in for the search and rescue efforts. It was reported that nearly 30 houses in the 2 km radius of the explosion site were damaged.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, and authorities are working to assess the extent of the damage caused by the blast.