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UP: Factory Owner, Operator Arrested After Hapur Explosion That Killed 13

The SP said that 11 of the 13 deceased have been identified and are from UP's Shahjahanpur and Bihar.

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A day after an explosion in a factory in Uttar Pradesh's Hapur claimed at least 13 lives, both the owner and operator of the factory were arrested on Sunday, 5 June, police said.

A senior police official said that the operator of the unit, Wasim, had fled after the explosion.

He sustained burn injuries on his hands and there were stitches on his head as well, the official said, adding that he received first-aid after the incident and took off.

"He was arrested on Sunday afternoon from the Hapur-Meerut bypass," Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Bhuker told news agency PTI. "We are providing medical treatment to him," he said.

"Police have also arrested Dilshad, the owner of the factory," the SP said.

An First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against both of them, the police said.

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The Incident

The explosion took place on Saturday at Ruhi Industries in the Dhaulana area.

"So far, 13 people have been killed, while 20 are injured. The injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Meerut," Bhuker said.

Bhuker added that 11 of the 13 deceased have been identified and are from UP's Shahjahanpur and Bihar.

Superintendent of Police of Shahjahanpur S Anand told the news agency that at least 10 of the deceased were from Shahjahanpur district's Bhanderi village, located 280 km from Hapur.

The deceased have been idenitified as Sarvesh, Anil, Bhure, Ramu, Anoop, Prempal, Irfan, Chaviram, Noor Hasan, and Raghvendra.

Dharmendra Singh Kushwaha, representative of the village head, said around 40 people from the village were employed in the factory.

Kushwaha added, "At least 10 people from our village have been killed in the accident. Around eight others are hospitalised," he said.

"Around 20 of the workers had recently come to their homes for Eid celebrations. Some of them are among those killed or injured in the blast," he added.

Meanwhile, some villagers have claimed that the family members of the victims were not being allowed to see them.

"The family members of those killed or injured in the accident who have gone to Hapur are facing a lot of trouble in getting information about their loved ones," said Akhtar Ali, a resident.

Another villager Rakesh said that his son also works at the same factory in Hapur. Rakesh said he fears the worst as he has not heard from his son after the incident.

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How Did the Explosion Happen?

Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, Praveen Kumar, said that an investigation is underway to ascertain how explosives reached there, despite the factory being licensed to manufacture only electronic goods.

It has been suspected by the police that crackers were being manufactured in the factory.

Both the owner and operator, Dilshad and Wasim, have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), 304 (culpable homicide), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 (act endangering human lives), and 338 (causing grievous hurt).

The victims' bodies have been sent for postmortem examination, the SP said.

District Magistrate Medha Roopam said, "Factories in the area are being checked, and soon, the reality of the incident will come to the fore and strict action will be taken against the accused."

At the time of the incident, there were around 30 people at the factory in the UPSIDC Industrial Area in Dholana, around 80 km from the national capital, officials said.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the kin of those who lost their lives in the incident. He added, "State government is actively involved in the treatment of the injured and will offer all possible help."

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Narendra Modi   Uttar Pradesh   Hapur 

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