Bhopal/Harda: Eleven people were killed and 200 others injured, besides 60 houses were gutted after an explosion leading to a blaze at a firecrackers factory in Harda town of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, officials said.
A number of people were also feared trapped in and around the unit, Harda Collector Rishi Garg said.
The incident took place in Bairagarh locality on Magardha road on the outskirts of Harda town, about 150 km from the state capital Bhopal.
Some videos of the incident surfaced on social media showing the fire with intermittent explosions taking place at the site and people running to save themselves.
Efforts were on to control the blaze, according to officials.
“Eleven people have been killed and 200 injured in an explosion leading to a fire at the crackers unit,” Collector Garg said.
After the incident, Chief Minister Mohan Yadav held a meeting and said the Army was being contacted to arrange for helicopters for the rescue work.
“I spoke to the officials concerned and sought details of the incident,” he said.
The Centre been informed about the incident, he added.
CM Yadav announced an assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased. The entire cost of treatment of the injured persons will be borne by the state government.
The CM also directed senior minister Uday Pratap Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Ajit Kesari and Director General Home Guard Arvind Kumar to rush to Harda by a helicopter.
Burn units in hospitals in Indore, Bhopal and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the state capital were directed to make necessary arrangements for any emergency, an official said.
CM Yadav held a meeting with the officials in connection with the incident, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
“In the meeting, the Chief Minister directed that providing immediate treatment to the injured from the Harda accident is our top priority. Ambulances are being rushed to Harda from the surrounding areas, and the Army has been contacted to arrange for helicopters,” the CMO said in a post on X.
The CMO also said that 14 doctors have been immediately sent to Harda from nearby places including Narmadapuram.
It stated that 20 ambulances were present in Harda and 50 more were reaching there.
Fire tenders were being sent to Harda from Bhopal, Indore, Betul, Hoshangabad, Bhairunda, Rehti and other urban bodies and institutions, the CMO said.