A pall of gloom has descended on the Palipattu village in Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu after 32 people were killed and three others injured in a blaze at a firecracker shop on Friday evening.
An official of Thiruvallur collectorate on the accident spot told IANS: "Thirty two charred bodies have been recovered after the blaze. The dead include shop workers as well as firecracker shoppers."
The Thiruvallur police have arrested the building owner Jaishankar and the person who ran the shop Anandakumar.
According to him, 12 people from Andhra Pradesh and four from Tamil Nadu have been employed in the shop.
The cracker shop was functioning out of a godown located behind a rice mill in Palipattu village, some 90 km from Chennai, where many people had gathered to buy crackers on the eve of Diwali.
Suddenly fire started and gutted down the cracker shop, killing and injuring several people.
Two fire tenders doused the fire.
The Pallipattu police are investigating the cause of the accident as well as whether the shop has been licensed to sell firecrackers.
Thiruvallur District Collector V. Palanikumar and top police officials are on the spot overseeing the rescue operations.
The charred bodies have been taken to the government hospital in Tiruttani. The injured have been sent to the same hospital.