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Explosion at fireworks’ unit near Ghaziabad kills one

One worker died and another sustained sever burns in the incident.

noida Updated: Oct 28, 2016 23:46 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
The building was reduced to rubble and the asbestos roof blown away in the impact of the explosion.(Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

A 36-year-old worker died and another sustained severe burns after an explosion took place among chemicals stored at a firecracker manufacturing unit at Bhaneda Khurd village in Loni on Friday morning. The area is next to the Farrukhnagar fireworks’ manufacturing hub in Ghaziabad.

The blast, which occurred around 8am, reduced the brick unit to rubble and the asbestos sheets on the roof were thrown nearly 20 feet in the air in the impact. Neighbouring villagers rushed to the spot when they heard the explosion and saw that the premises was on fire.

After an initial investigation, the police identified the deceased as Mohammed Imran. The injured worker, 18-year-old Umesh Kumar, was rushed to GTB Hospital in Delhi where he is stated to be critical.

“The man had died on the spot but villagers and police tried to admit him to the hospital hoping that he survives. His entire skin was charred and peeled off when anyone tried to pick him up. The other worker was severely injured as well. The asbestos sheets flew more than 30-40 metres into nearby fields due to the impact,” said Vishant Tyagi, a local resident.

Villagers and local sources said that although the licences for the unit were in names of one Ikrar and one Ishtekhar, the manufacturing was undertaken by one Naeem and one Abrar who did not have licences.

Officials from the local intelligence unit also confirmed the information.

“Naeem has been manufacturing fireworks though he had no licence for the past two years. He is from Gulaothi, but resides at Farrukhnagar. He is absconding since the incident,” said a local intelligence official present at the site.

Apart from the police, officials from the fire department and the district administration also rushed to the spot to conduct a detailed inquiry.

“The premises has two licence holders, one for manufacturing and the other for sale. Both of them are on the run. According to the initial inquiry, lighting a cigarette on the premises could have triggered the explosion among the stored chemicals. A detailed inquiry will be conducted to find out the exact reason. If the licence holders leased out the activity to a third person, strict action will be taken,” said Hanuman Prasad Maurya, sub divisional magistrate (Loni).

The police on Friday evening registered a case against Ikrar, Ishtekhar, Naeem and Abrar under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC at Loni police station.

“Naeem and Abrar were named as they had no licence to manufacture fireworks. The factory has been sealed for investigation. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire doused in 30-40 minutes. The accused will be nabbed soon,” said Anil Kumar Yadav, circle officer, Loni.

Farrukhnagar and other nearby villages are famous as fireworks manufacturing hubs. Their products are sold locally and also sent to western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi areas.

First Published: Oct 28, 2016 23:46 IST