Blast at fireworks factory kills at least 25 in India

The explosion that also injured 10 people occurred after a fire ignited gunpowder stocks at the factory in Madhya Pradesh state.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Rescuers try to douse the fire after an explosion in a firecracker factory in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh state, India, Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

At least 25 people died and ten others were injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory in central India, an official said on Thursday. 

Around 20 charred bodies were removed by emergency workers from the mangled structure on Tuesday after a fire ignited gunpowder stocks triggering a blast at the workshop in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state.

"Three more workers are in a serious condition, while five succumbed to their injuries," Balaghat government official Bharat Yadav said.

Yadav said seven others were being treated in hospital.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident and have charged the factory owner with criminally negligent manslaughter. But they have not yet been able to arrest him.

Workplace accidents are common in India, where poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations contribute to accidents and fatalities.

In October 2016, an explosion set off by a blaze at a fireworks factory in Tamil Nadu left 20 workers dead. And five workers were killed in a similar incident in northern Uttar Pradesh state in November last year.