Gurdaspur, Sep 4: At least 19 people were killed and 30 injured this evening in a blast at a cracker factory on Batala-Jalandhar road in Gurdaspur district. According to reports here, the sound of the explosion was deafening and could be heard very far away. Nearby walls and vehicles broke or collapsed, the reports said. Senior police and civil officers reached the spot and investigation was in progress.
Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal ordered a magisterial probe into the explosion at the firecrackers factory which till now had claimed lives of 19 persons while more than 30 are reported to be seriously injured. The explosion took place at 4pm in which around 40 people, who were working inside the factory, are feared to be trapped inside the building. Fire tenders are present at the spot.
The blast was so strong that it smashed window panes up to 1 km. A car and a bike were also destroyed in the blast. The firecracker factory, a three storey building was also crumbled. Several people were feared trapped under the debris, officials said, adding that the rescue operation was underway.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have also been deployed for the rescue operation. Several teams of police, disaster management, fire brigade were conducting rescue operations at the site. A massive blanket of smoke could be seen over the factory.