At least 23 people were killed and 27 were injured in an explosion at a firecracker factory in Batala of Gurdaspur district on Wednesday, Punjab Police said. The blast led to the collapse of the building.
A rescue operation was on to evacuate others feared trapped in the debris. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation.
President Kovind expressed his grief over the loss of lives in the blast. “Saddened to learn about the loss of lives due to an explosion at a firecracker factory in Batala, Punjab. Condolences to bereaved families impacted by this tragedy and wishing an early recovery to those injured,” he said in a tweet.
Saddened to learn about the loss of lives due to an explosion at a firecracker factory in Batala, Punjab. Condolences to bereaved families impacted by this tragedy and wishing an early recovery to those injured #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) September 4, 2019
Punjab Chief Minister has 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. He has also announced Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries. #Gurdaspur #Punjab pic.twitter.com/Yzy0QYP9We
— NewsMobile (@NewsMobileIndia) September 4, 2019
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed his anguish at the tragedy.
“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,” he tweeted.
Actor Sunny Deol who is the Gurdaspur MP also expressed grief. “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 a 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
The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar told PTI.
More details awaited.
(With Agency Inputs)