Gurdaspur: 23 Killed, 26 Injured In Blast In Firecracker Factory
At least 23 people were killed and 26 injured after a massive explosion took place at unauthorised firecracker manufacturing unit in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.
Of the 14 seriously injured people, four have been referred to the Amritsar government hospital, Batala Senior Medical Officer Sanjiv Bhalla said. The impact of the blast was such that a few nearby buildings were damaged.
"Deeply anguished to learn of the loss of lives due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC & SSP heading the relief efforts," he tweeted.
Deeply anguished to learn of the loss of lives due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC & SSP heading the relief efforts.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 4, 2019
— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2019
Rescue workers were on the job to retrieve the bodies from the badly-damaged building, an official told IANS over phone. The cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained, he added.
Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol too expressed grief over the incident. "Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory. NDRF teams and local administration have been rushed for rescue operation," Deol said in his tweet.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation. Senior officials of the district administration and police have reached the spot to take stock of the situation.
Locals complained the firecracker unit was running illegally for the past many years. It were manufacturing and storing crackers for a 'nagar kirtan' - a religious procession relating to the birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev - slated to reach the town late Wednesday evening.
"The firecracker factory has been working in this locality for the many years. We have complained against the factory seven-eight times to the local administration, but no action has been taken against it," a local resident told the media.
He said a similar blast occurred in this area in January 2017, leaving one person dead and three injured.
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