Death toll from firecrackers factory blast rises to 22 in IndiaChristian Fernsby ▼ | September 5, 2019
The death toll in Wednesday's blast at a firecrackers factory rose to 22, even as around 20 others were injured in India's northern state of Punjab, local officials told Xinhua over phone.
Asia Firecrackers factory blast in India
Topics: India factory blast
Local media quoted a local senior cop as saying that among the dead were workers of the factory and one of the factory owners, besides some passers-by on the road at which the factory was located.
It is believed that a large stock of firecrackers were stored inside the factory when the blast took place, and soon the whole factory was engulfed in a huge fire.
The teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force have been deployed for the rescue operation.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh 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 Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) heading the relief efforts."
The state government has announced an ex-gratia grant of 200,000 Indian Rupees (about 2,857 U.S. dollars) for the kin of the deceased, and 50,000 Indian Rupees (about 714 U.S. dollars) for the seven severely injured who were referred to a government hospital in a nearby district.
Local media reported that the same factory caught fire last year. ■