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Explosion in illegal fireworks factory sealed last year in Ghaziabad, five dead

Officials said that the factory continued to operate illegally despite a November 2016 order by the Supreme Court to shut it down.

delhi Updated: Apr 28, 2017 22:50 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad,Factory fire,GhaziabadFactory blast
Five persons were killed in a major explosion at an illegal fireworks' manufacturing factory at Farrukhnagar-Asalatpur in Ghaziabad on Friday afternoon. (Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

Five people were killed on Friday after chemicals stored in an illegal fireworks manufacturing factory exploded in Farrukhnagar-Asalatpur in Ghaziabad.

Officials said that the factory continued to operate illegally despite a November 2016 order by the Supreme Court to shut it down.

Sources said the factory was operated by one Pappu Kumar, 55, who was allegedly present on the premises with several other persons when the explosion took place on Friday afternoon.

Police said Kumar and three others were killed at the spot. The body of a fifth person was recovered from the terrace of the factory.

The four other deceased were later identified as Sagir, 40, Rafiq, 60, Ashfaq, 38 and Kutub, 50.

“The explosion was of such high intensity that many bodies were dismembered. We found body parts strewn in an area of almost 50 metres around the blast site. One body was recovered from the roof later. In all, five people were killed due to the explosion,” said Prem Ranjan Singh, subdivisional magistrate, Loni.

Officials said fire tenders and police personnel rushed to the spot as soon as they were informed.

A number of illegal factories in Farrukhnagar had been shut down by the district administration after a November 2016 order by the Supreme Court. In response to a petition on air pollution, the Apex court had last year also banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the national capital region.

“The factory was operating illegally on a plot of land. We are in the process of lodging an FIR against the land owner who leased out the plot. We have nearly 60 factories in the area that have been sealed. We will check each one of them now to figure out if the owners have been operating it despite the ban,” Singh added.

The bodies of the deceased were sent for postmortem. Deputy inspector general (Meerut), KS Emmaneul, was also expected to pay a visit to the area and figure out if there was any laxity on part of the police officers.

“These people were operating the factory even after it was sealed. The factories that have been sealed have no licences now. Incidents of deaths due to blasts is quiet common here,” said Pawan Kumar, village head from Asalatpur village.

“The bang of the explosion was heard for several kilometers. The bodies of the people who were killed were blown into pieces. The scene was heart wrenching. Locals rushed to the spot to help, but five people were already dead by then,” said Sanjay Goswami, a local resident.

In October last year, a 36-year-old man had been killed and several others had been injured after a similar explosion took place in another factory in the area.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 22:47 IST