With one more person succumbing to burns today, the death toll in the explosion in a fireworks manufacturing unit at Vadakkampatti village in the district has risen to 17.
About 80 people were working in V B M fireworks when the explosion took place yesterday. A huge ball of fire engulfed the building immediately after the explosion, police said.
Eight fire tenders battled for more than three hours to put out the fire in the factory, which broke out around 7 pm last night, police said.
More than 25 persons sustained injuries in the incident and they were admitted to hospitals in Madurai and Theni districts, police said.
The factory was involved in manufacture of unbranded crackers locally called 'OUTU' which produce hi decibel sound with pyrotechniques, used in temple festivals, weddings and other occasions.
A solatium of Rs 1 lakh would be paid from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's fund to next of the kin of 17 people killed in the explosion, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers M K Azhagiri said.
Azhagiri, elected to the Lok Sabha from Madurai constituency, visited those injured at the government Rajaji hospital and said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had asked him to announce the compensation on his behalf.