Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has expressed grief over the loss of lives and said rescue operations are underway.
Batala fireworks factory blast: At least 19 people, mostly workers, have been killed and 27 seriously injured in a blast at a firecracker factory in Punjab’s Batala. Several people are still feared trapped in the debris of the factory which was destroyed in the powerful blast. The police said that most of the killed were workers at the factory.
The impact of the blast was such that a few nearby buildings were also damaged. The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar said.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Batala firecracker factory blast. He also announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 2 lakhs for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the seven severely injured, who were referred to Amritsar Medical College. Singh has also announced Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were deployed to take up the rescue and relief operation. Senior administration and police officials reached the spot to take stock of the prevailing situation.
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his condolences to the families of the bereaved. “Express my sympathies with the families of the people who lost their lives in the Batala firecracker factory blast. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” President Kovind wrote on Twitter.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives, Punjab Chief Minister said rescue operations are underway. “Deeply anguished to learn of the loss of life due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC & SSP heading the relief efforts,” tweeted Singh.
Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol also expressed grief over the incident and tweeted, “Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory. NDRF teams and local administration have been rushed for rescue operation.”