At least 15 people were killed and several feared trapped under the debris due to a massive explosion in a firecracker making factory in Punjab's Gurdaspur. Fire tenders have been rushed to the spot where the incident took place.
The incident happened in the evening at around 4 pm at the firecracker factory located in a residential area in Gurdaspur's Batala, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar said.
Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh took to Twitter to state that rescue operations are underway with the District Collector and the Senior Superintendent of Police heading the relief efforts. "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," tweeted the chief minister.
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
The factory blast was so strong that the three-storey firecracker building crumbled and was completely destroyed and three to four nearby buildings also collapsed and smashed windowpanes of buildings that were up to 1 km away. A car and a bike were also destroyed in the blast, reports India Today.
In another similar incident last month, around 13 workers were killed and 72 injured in a fire incident which was caused due to multiple gas cylinders exploding at a chemical factory in Dhule district in Maharashtra.