The reports indicate that the toll could rise further as it is believed that more than 300 people were inside the Om Siva Sakthi Crackers factory in Mudalipetti, near Sivakasi, when the fire broke out.
According to an NDTV report, 40 out of 60 rooms in the factory have been gutted and rescue operations are on. The firefighters are moving cautiously as the chances of explosion are high. The fire has spread to a storage space 200 meters away from the factory.
Children are also feared to be among those dead as the fireworks factories in Sivakasi are notorious for employing cheap child labor, although the number has come down to some extent. Sivakasi is India's largest hub of crackers and match box manufacturing and the work was at full swing to meet the demand for Diwali in October - the festival of lamps and fireworks.