At least 12 people have been killed and nearly a 100 injured in a massive explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh. The injured have been rushed to the hospital.
The blast, that occurred at a factory situated on Magardha road in Bairagarh village of Harda, was so intense that its effect were felt in a radius of 15 kilometres. Bodies were said to have scattered along the road and in the nearby fields.
The glass windows were shattered and the shock of the blast led to a stampede-like situation. The rescue operation is still underway.
“These are the people who had died mainly of stampede after the blast, we are yet to reach the actual blast site as fire is on and fire-fighters are working to douse the fire,”Harda Kotwali police station incharge, Abdul Raees Khan said.
Movement of people has been restricted within a radius of about one kilometer of the firecracker factory including Magardha Road. Vehicles are also being evacuated by putting barricades on Narmada Puram-Khandwa State Highway.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mohan Yadav said over 50 ambulances were rushed to the spot and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of the deceased.
“Our minister Ranvendra Pratap Singh, DG Home and around 400 police officials have left for the spot. We are trying to control the fire and provide immediate assistance to the injured. We will provide Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased and the injured will be given free treatment,” he said.
The CM called an emergency meeting and instructed ministers Pradyuman Tomar and Uday Pratap Singh, ACS Ajit Kesari, DG Home Guard Arvind Kumar to go to Harda immediately. Apart from this, the Medical College in Bhopal, Indore and the burn unit in AIIMS Bhopal were asked to make necessary preparations and a green corridor was prepared to take the injured to AIIMS and Hamidia hospital in the state capital. Fire brigades from Indore and Bhopal are also being sent to Harda.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown. It is said that more than 250 workers were working inside the factory at the time of the explosion. There is a possibility of many casualties in this accident.