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25 killed, 8 critically injured in Balaghat firecracker factory blast

11:45, Thursday, 08 June, 2017
25 killed, 8 critically injured in Balaghat firecracker factory blast

At least 25 people, mostly labrourers, were killed and eight others critically injured in a major explosion in a firecracker factory in Balaghat district on Wednesday. The injured have been admitted to district hospital and Bhilai in neighbouring Chhattisgarh state.
     Explosions took place in the factory owned by Wahid Ahmed Warsi, situated in jungles near Samnapur road in Khairi village, some 7 kilometres from the district headquarters at around 4 pm. The cause of explosions is yet to be ascertained.
     It is said the blasts were so intense that sound of explosions was heard as far as five kilometres from the spot.
     The factory was earlier situated in a populated area but was shifted by the administration a couple of years ago. The factory owner is on the run, said sources.
     Police and sources who reached the spot informed that body parts were ripped off and strewn around in the factory premises.
     "Twenty-three bodies have been found and eight people are injured. Of the eight injured, two are admitted to the district hospital and six have been referred to Bhillai," SP Balaghat Amit Sanghi told TOI.
     "We started rescue works as soon as the information was received. Due to absence of a proper approach road, the fire-tenders had problem in reaching the spot, however it did not affect the rescue works much," he said.
     "All the deceased are locals and only 14 bodies could be identified, so far. There is no minor among the deceased," he said.
     "Prima facie investigations reveal that the factory was licensed since 2003," said Sanghi.District administration has ordered a magisterial probe headed by the additional district magistrate to probe into the incident.
     "Rescue works continued till late in the night. A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident. Some of the bodies were in such a condition that their identification could not be done till now. Most of them are presumed to be women and they were labourers who worked at the cracker factory," district collector Bharat Yadav said.An ex-gratia relief of Rs 20,000 was provided to the kin of the deceased from Red Cross while the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the deceased. Minister in-charge of the district has also announced a relief of Rs 10,000 each to the kin of the deceased.
     Besides, the kin of deceased are also eligible for a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each as per the norms prescribed in the revenue book code. The injured are being provided a relief of Rs 50,000 each and the treatment costs are being borne by the state government," Yadav added.

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