Twenty-three people were killed while 27 injured in a blast at a firecracker factory in Batala of Gurdaspur district on Wednesday (September 4), an official said. Several people were feared trapped under the debris, police said, adding that the rescue operation was underway.
The incident took place around 4 PM at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar told PTI. “At least 10 people, mostly workers, died in the blast,” Pamar said.
The impact of the blast was such that a few nearby buildings were damaged.
Batala Senior Medical Officer Sanjiv Bhalla said, “A total 18 people have died in the blast.” Of the 14 seriously injured people, four have been referred to the Amritsar government hospital, Bhalla added. Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal said that over 15 people had died in the blast.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed shock over the loss of life in the incident. “Deeply anguished to learn the loss of life due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC and the SSP heading relief efforts,” Amarinder tweeted.
Deeply anguished to learn of the loss of lives due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC & SSP heading the relief efforts.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 4, 2019
Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol too expressed grief over the incident. “Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory. NDRF teams and local administration have been rushed for rescue operation,” Deol said in his tweet.
Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory.NDRF teams and local administration has been rushed for rescue operation.
— Sunny Deol (@iamsunnydeol) September 4, 2019
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation.
Senior officials of the district administration and police have reached the spot to take stock of the situation.