Chennai, February 12:

At least 11 people were killed and 36 others critically injured on Friday after a fire broke out in a firecracker factory in Sivakasi area of Tamil Nadu’s Virudhnagar. The rescue operations after the fire broke out at around 11.45am are still underway, officials have said.

They said that 28 of the critically injured people, out of which four have more than 90% burns, have been admitted to the Satur Government Hospital. Three people have been taken to Kovilpatti Government Hospital and six to Sivakasi Government Hospital, the officials added. “One person died during treatment,” a senior health official in Virudhunagar said requesting anonymity.

Five special medical teams have been deployed to take care of those injured. Medical assistance has been sought from neighbouring Madurai district too, officials said.

According to the initial reports, the fire erupted due to friction as workers were handling chemicals in the factory.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund of ₹200,000 to the family of those killed in the fire and ₹50,000 to those who have been severely injured. “Fire at a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu is saddening. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover soon. Authorities are working on the ground to assist those affected,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami also announced ex-gratia of ₹3 lakh to the family of those who died in the fire and ₹1 lakh for those critically injured.