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October 18, 2009

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Blaze at fireworks warehouse kills 32

A BLAZE erupted at a fireworks warehouse in southern India, killing at least 32 people and injuring 10 others ahead of a major Hindu festival yesterday.

The victims in Friday night's explosion were mainly traders buying fireworks in bulk as millions of Hindus prepared to celebrate Deepavali, the festival of lights, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Setting off fireworks is a major part of the celebration's evening festivities.

Police pulled 32 bodies, most of them charred remains, from the warehouse in Pallipat near Chennai, the capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, local administrator Palani Kumar said. Three people have been hospitalized with burns, he said.

The cause was not immediately known but police have arrested two people, including the warehouse owner, as they investigate, the news agency reported.


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