At least seven people were killed in a massive explosion in a fireworks factory in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal on Tuesday, several reports have claimed.
The entire building where the firework plant was operating reportedly collapsed in the massive explosion. Rescue operations were launched immediately in the aftermath of the explosion.
According to police officials, more bodies are likely to be recovered once the rescue operations are over. Meanwhile, those injured in the incident were transferred to a nearby infirmiry where they are said to be in critical condition.
The police is looking into the matter and trying to work out the cause of the explosion. Officials suspect that the factory was used to manufacture crude bombs which might have exploded leading to the fireworks getting burnt. It is most likely that the explosion was caused by the crude bombs, police said.
Meanwhile, it has come to the fore that the fireworks factory was operating illegally without the necessary authorization and supervision from the local administration, including the police, as mentioned by the locals.
Locals also claimed that the administration ignored repeated pleas for action against the illegal factory that has grown to employ many people of the area.
Moreover, police officials in large numbers arrived at the scene of the incident following the explosion. The area has been cordoned off by the police.
It may be noted that a similar explosion had taken place in the Bhupatinagar in the East Midnapore district last year. One person was killed and several others were injured including a local leader of the Trinamool Congress.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh to the kin of those who were killed and Rs 1 lakh each to those injured in the incident.