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23 Dead in Punjab Firecracker Factory Blast; PM Condoles Tragedy

Fire tenders are present at the spot to douse the flames.

Updated
India
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Edited By :Riniki Sanyal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 5 September, described the blast at a firecracker factory in Punjab as heart-wrenching and hoped for the early recovery of those injured.

At least 23 people were killed and over 30 injured in a blast at a firecracker unit in Punjab's Batala on Wednesday.

"The tragedy at a firecracker factory in Punjab is heart-wrenching. Deeply anguished due to it. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I hope the injured recover at the earliest," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted quoting Modi.

It said agencies are working on rescue operations at the site of the tragedy.

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The blast took place around 4 pm at the factory in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar told PTI.

Fire tenders and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were deployed for the rescue operation.

Out of the three brothers who were running the firecracker unit of the factory, only one, Ramandeep Singh is alive.

Seven members of the owner's family have died.

What Do Eyewitnesses Say?

The explosion also damaged buildings nearby, shattering windowpanes and even bringing down the roofs of a couple of them. The explosion was heard kilometres away, local residents said.

The explosion damaged vehicles parked nearby. Eyewitness Sukhraj Singh said one car landed in a drain because of the impact.

Another man, Sukhdev Singh, said two others who were with him to buy crackers died in the blast.

What We Know About the Background of the Factory

Some of the residents claimed that several complaints have been filed with the district administration in the past, asking that the factory be closed down.

To a question by reporters, the deputy commissioner said the factory owner had applied for the licence but its status was yet to be checked.

What Action Has Been Taken?

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Batala) has been asked to conduct the probe, an official release said.

An ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh each has been announced for relatives of those killed.

The Punjab government said the seven severely injured referred to the Amritsar medical college will get Rs 50,000 each. Those with minor injuries will get Rs 25,000 each Amarinder Singh directed both the civil and police administration to extend all possible help to the victims' families.

What Are Politicians Saying?

Singh offered his condolences on Twitter, adding that a magisterial inquiry into the tragedy.

Actor-turned-BJP MP from Gurdaspur Sunny Deol offered his condolences with the incident as well.

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President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also offered their condolences to the bereaved families and wished “speedy recovery” to the injured.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed his grief over the deceased, adding that he wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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Edited By :Riniki Sanyal
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