Five people were charred to death and seven suffered serious burns when a cracker manufacturing unit caught fire and exploded at Panniankurissi in Palakkad district today.
All the victims were workers of the fire unit. The injured have been admitted to different hospitals. Some of them are stated to be in a critical condition.
The victims were engaged by the licenced cracker unit for making fireworks for temple festivals in the summer months in the area.
The bodies were taken out of the debris by police and fire brigade with the help of local people. Witnesses say they heard a big sound when the thatched shed went up in flames.
Police have so far identified two of the victims.