Three killed in Kanpur cracker unit blast, six houses collapse
Three people were killed and many others injured in an explosion in an ‘illegal’ firecracker factory at a two-storeyed house in the main bazaar area of Kanpur’s Sarsaul locality.lucknow Updated: Oct 05, 2017 15:15 IST
Three people were killed and many others injured in an explosion in an ‘illegal’ firecracker factory at a two-storeyed house in the main bazaar area of Kanpur’s Sarsaul locality on Wednesday, police said.
Six houses in the area collapsed and some others developed cracks after the explosion at the residence of one Babu Singh Kushwaha.
One of the three bodies was identified as that of Kushwaha’s son Neeraj, who was suspected to have been making crackers with his father and others.
A PTI report quoted a police official naming Meraj as one of the other victims.
Six injured, including a woman and a girl, were rushed to hospital.
District magistrate Surendra Singh said efforts were on to rescue the others who were still trapped under the debris.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which has a base camp nearby, was called in to conduct the rescue operations. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) personnel rushed to Kanpur to check whether the explosion had a terror angle.
The ATS collected samples of a powder used in making crude bombs and firecrackers. The samples have been sent to a forensic lab.
The extensive damage in the area indicated that a high-quality explosive was used, said an ATS official.
“We heard a deafening sound and suddenly my house, which was 15 metres away, collapsed. I was lucky to be out. But my family members were trapped under the debris,” said Rohit Saini, whose house was reduced to rubble.
Three members of his family were rescued and sent to hospital.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team also reached the site in the evening.
The locals alleged Kushwaha and his family were engaged in making crude bombs and crackers for several years.
The district magistrate said officials were checking if Kushwaha had obtained a licence for making firecrackers or was running the factory illegally.
“An inquiry has been ordered. We will include all aspects in the investigation. But our first priority is to rescue those trapped and provide them medical care,” said the DM.
Superintendent of police (rural) Jai Prakash Singh said the police will file a case against Kushwaha and others after the rescue operations.
Inspector general of police (Kanpur zone) Alok Singh said, “In the initial probe, it came to light that firecrackers were being manufactured in the house and also stored there.”
(With PTI inputs)