Balaghat: At least 20 workers were killed and several others injured after a fire broke out in a cracker factory at Bhatan village in the Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh this afternoon, an official said.
“An explosion in the firecracker factory in Katera village in Kotwali police station jurisdiction around 3.30 p.m. was so powerful that even factory walls collapsed due to the impact,” Additional Director General of Police G. Janardan told a news agency.
According to Janardan, 18 bodies were recovered from the blast site and relief and rescue operation was underway.
Although the fire in the factory was doused, “more bodies could be lying under the debris,” the ADGP added.
The seriously injured were rushed to hospital.
According to District Collector Bharat Yadav, the victims were the workers of the factory and the incident took place when the work was on.
“What exactly triggered the fire is not yet known. It is possible that someone might have thrown a burning beedi,” Yadav said.