Tiruvarur: An explosion at a firecracker unit left six people dead and three injured. The explosion was triggered when the workers were handling raw materials to make them. The owner of the unit was among the deceased. 

The explosion was so powerful that the building that housed the unit, collapsed and portions of it were flattened, a fire official said, adding that there was no blaze.

"While four of them were flung outside under the impact of the explosion, two got trapped under the rubble and all of them died," a rescue official said.

Several teams of fire and rescue personnel from here and nearby areas were pressed into service to rescue the victims and clear the rubble.

The two seriously injured workers were admitted to a nearby government medical college hospital, while the other victim was discharged after treatment, he said.

According to officials, the unit was manufacturing firecrackers for a local event and it was believed to have a valid license.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami condoled the deaths of the six workers.