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Explosion at Amritsar illegal cracker unit triggers roof collapse, toddler among six hurt

Windowpanes of a dozen houses in the locality were shattered and walls in some buildings developed cracks.

punjab Updated: Sep 04, 2018 09:02 IST
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Amritsar cracker factory,cracker factory explosion,factory explosion
The injured are Raman Kumar, 65, Pooja, 35, Pooja, 14, Muskan, 2, and Ajay Kumar, 38. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Six persons were injured after an explosion in an illegal cracker factory at Sundar Nagar in Kot Khalsa Colony on Monday evening. The roofs of three houses, including the factory collapsed after the blast. Windowpanes of a dozen houses in the locality were shattered and walls in some buildings developed cracks.

The injured are Raman Kumar, 65, Pooja, 35, Pooja, 14, Muskan, 2, and Ajay Kumar, 38. One of the injured is yet to be identified and all are undergoing treatment at the civil hospital. “At 5.30pm, there was a loud explosion. I reached the spot to find that roofs of three houses, including the building that housed the factory, had collapsed. People were trapped in the debris. I informed the police, called the 108 ambulance as well as the fire brigade,” said area councillor Sukhdev Singh Chahal.

Area resident Harjit Singh Lali said, “Soon after the explosion, people of nearby houses gathered and doused the fire. Somehow, we rescued 4-5 people, who had been buried under the debris.”

Sukhwinder Singh, whose house collapsed, said, “Avtar Singh Bittu had been running the cracker factory, illegally in a house. He had even hired migrant labourers for making crackers. We complained to the police a number of times, to no avail. If the police had acted, the incident could have been averted.” He added, “My two daughters, Harsimran Kaur and Prabhjit Kaur, had a lucky escape as they were not in the house.”

Soon after the incident, deputy commissioner of police (DCP)-City Amrik Singh Pawar and additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) City-1, Jagjit Singh Walia, reached the spot with heavy police force and started investigation. “The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. The guilty will be punished,” the DCP said.

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 23:56 IST