At least 29 people, including 11 children, were killed and several others injured in a blast caused by crackers in a house at Darukuta Mohalla in Deeg in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district late on Wednesday night.
Bharatpur superintendent of police Rohit Mahajan said, “Preliminary investigations indicate that the blast might have been caused by a spark while crackers were being manufactured in the house.”
He said officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) have collected samples from the spot as part of their investigations into the blast.
Following the blast, six houses spread over 500 sq yd in the congested area were razed to the ground, Mahajan said.
Mahajan said they have also recovered more than over 1 tonne of explosives illegally stored in various houses in the area.
He said the police have registered six cases and arrested eight people in a crackdown to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Local people along with rescue and police officials rushed to the blast site to carry out relief and rescue operations, which were hampered initially due to pitch darkness. The relief and rescue operations were continuing till the filing of this report.
The local people blamed the local administration for the blast, saying it did not act on information that a few people of the Mohalla have been storing and making crackers illegally for quite some time now.
Divisional Commissioner Rajendra Bhanawat also visited Deeg to take stock of the situation early on Thursday.
In a similar mishap three years ago, four persons were killed and property worth lakhs was damaged in the area.
However, the officials do not seem to have learnt any lessons from that accident and allowed houses to store crackers illegally, resulting this huge blast.