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26 killed, 20 injured in fireworks factory blast in Rajasthan

National, Thu, 23 Oct 2008 IANS

Bharatpur, Oct 23 (IANS) At least 26 people were killed and 20 others injured in an explosion in an illegal fireworks factory in this Rajasthan district, the police said.


The incident occurred Wednesday night in Deeg town of Bharatpur district, where the famous bird sanctuary is located, when crackers being manufactured in an illegal factory caught fire, the police said.



'Till now, we have information of 26 dead in the explosion that rocked this factory in Darukuta colony in Deeg town in Bharatpur district,' Anand Kumar, Bharatpur collector told IANS.



Out of the 26 killed, 12 are reported to be children and at least five were women.



'The identification is going on and we would only be able to give a final break up of those killed after it is completed,' Kumar added.



'The relief operations are on and we anticipate recovery of some more (bodies) from the debris,' said Rohit Mahajan, superintendent of police Bharatpur.



The explosion was so strong that around eight nearby houses were damaged.



'It is primarily a slum area and we have since yesterday (Wednesday) been conducting searches in the area to unearth similar illegal firecracker manufacturers,' a police official said.



Meanwhile, the state government has asked the divisional commissioner to conduct an enquiry into the incident. The commissioner is to submit a report in 15 days.


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