A 23-year-old student Friday died while five others were hospitalised after inhaling smoke, triggered by a fire that broke out in a three-storeyed building here, where crackers were reportedly stocked, police said. Preliminary investigation revealed the fire and smoke were noticed from a room in the second floor around 4 PM, which spread to cracker boxes, reportedly stocked for distribution as Diwali gift among employees of a private textile mill, which owned the building, they said. Even as the fire raged, thick smoke spread to the second and third floors, where an IAS Free Coaching Centre, run by the mills, was functioning, they said.
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Fire fighters rushed to the spot, doused the blaze and started operations to rescue trapped students.
They rescued six students, including two girls, who were admitted to the government hospital in an unconscious state, police said.
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A student, Shaktivel died at the hospital, while others are being treated, police said.
Police are investigating the cause behind the fire amid claims that there were no crackers stored in the building but a huge quantity of wall paint.
District collector T N Hariharan and other senior officials visited the spot.
On Thursday, eight people, including six women, were killed in a fire cracker mishap at Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district.
The incident occurred when a fire broke out while crackers were being offloaded from a van to a cracker shop, resulting in its spreading and affecting a nearby scan centre also.
“The deaths occurred due to suffocation as result of excess fumes and not because of any blast,” Virudhunagar District Collector A Sivagnanam had said.