The death toll in the Virudhunagar fire work factory blaze rose to 19 as on Saturday morning and the police on today arrested Ponpaandi, one of the contractors of the firework unit, where a fire accident took place on Friday.
As many as 35 persons have been admitted to the hospital due to injuries. Several of them have serious injuries. The police have registered an FIR against five persons in relation to the case and are in search of four other persons.
Sree Mariyammal firework unit in Achankulam village near Sattur is reportedly leased to one Sakthivel, who subleased it to Ponpaandi and a few other contractors.
The blaze started in the unit around 1 pm on Friday and rapidly spread to the other parts of the unit. Over 40 firefighters from three stations around the village were deployed to fight the fire and rescue those who were trapped inside the premises.
It took the rescue personnel over three hours to bring the fire under control and bring out the people trapped inside. Nine bodies were recovered on the spot on Friday. The postmortem on the deceased is underway at the district government hospital and a few bodies are yet to be identified.
As per reports, around 70 persons were in the premises on Friday when the fire started.