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Explosion at firecracker factory kills 23 workers in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat

At least 23 people were killed in an explosion in firecracker factory in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2017 00:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh,Firecracker factory explosion,Balaghat explosion
An explosion at a firecracker factory killed several workers in Balaghat.(HT Photo)

At least 23 people were killed after an explosion in a firecracker factory in Balaghat, about 440km southeast of Bhopal, on Wednesday.

The blast sparked a blaze around 3pm, which firefighters tamed in two hours.

Superintendent of police Amit Sanghi told HT that 23 people died in the fire incident at the Barsa fire cracker factory in Khari village. He said the incident took place around 3pm after which senior officials from police and district administration reached the spot.

“Bodies were fished out from the rubble of the fallen structure and the injured were sent to the hospital. Eight severely injured people were sent to Nagpur for treatment, while two other injured are being treated a local hospital here”, he said.

Additional director general of police G Janardan said the explosion in Katera village was so powerful that the factory walls collapsed.

District collector Bharat Yadav said more workers could be still inside the gutted factory.

Dozens of employees managed to escape unhurt. An inquiry was ordered to know exactly what triggered the explosion, Yadav said.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Wednesday compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims who died in the fire. The state government would also bear the medical expenses of the injured.

Explosion and fire in firecracker factories, as well as other manufacturing units, are common in India because of inadequate safety measures and regulations that are breached with impunity.

The biggest accident was the explosion at Om Sakthi Fireworks Industries factory in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, in September 2012. At least 40 people were killed and more than 70 injured. The factory did not have a valid licence.

Despite the disasters and the great amount of attention to the dangerous working conditions, factories largely remain unsafe.

A massive fire at a government-run fuel and grain depot in Madhya Pradesh killed 13 people in April. Later that month, five workers were burned to death in Jaipur after tonnes of molten rubber leaked at a tyre unit.

In the southern city of Hyderabad, six workers were burnt alive at an air conditioning manufacturing plant in February.

(WIth inputs from agencies)

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 19:42 IST