With the report on Calicut Mittayi Theruv fire, due today, on April 20th, people from the region is expecting to know something concrete on what caused the fire.
So far there is no such definitive answer also on how the reported explosion heard before the fire has taken place. But all experts are unanimous on one opinion that what exploded was not the usual crackers. There was certainly an element of some explosives involved.
|The shape of things at the fire seen justifies this argument. The concrete beams of the godown which is on the first floor of ‘Kerala Stationery Mart’ where the crackers were stored, was thrown away 70 mtrs to 130 mtrs away and in all directions by the force of the explosion.
The nearby coconut tree was broken into three pieces. Considerably big cracks were caused on the buildings around the Kerala stationery Mart by the explosion. All these are considered as pointers to the involvement of banned explosives used in crackers.
The experts believe that the explosive which caused the disaster was ‘pottassium chlorate’ and their suspicion has turned true in the lab test. Use of this chemical was banned in cracker manufacturing. The experts explain that the involvement of potassium chlorate and that it was trapped within the four wall of the godown has caused such a strong explosion. The force of which could be felt in 1.5km radius from the site of explosion in the city. The chemical which is legally recommended for the crackers is Potassium Nitrate because it explodes only after three stages. Fumes at first, catches fire at second, and at last blasts. This gives enough time for the user to move away.
But the cracker makers tend to use Potassium Chlorate because it explodes much more louder than that of Potassium Nitrate. But they explode so quickly that the user does not get enough time to move away making it extremely dangerous to use. The experts also brush away the possibility of the involvement of explosives like gelatin and RDX. They explain that the explosion caused by such explosives will not smoke to the extend it did at Mittayi Theruvu. The post mortem report also proves that the victims were exposed to high quantity of Carbon Monoxide. Experts also point out that if gelatin and RDX was used, the bodies would have been shattered beyond recognition. But at Mittayi Theruvu, the death was caused by burns and suffocation. They also explained that elements of Nitroglicerin and Nitrocellouse would have been found during the post mortem if geletine and RDX had exploded but the postmortem report talk only about CarbonMonoxide.
Hopefully, all these doubts will be cleared once the group of experts from the center who are currently investigating at the sight of mishap give their reports.