The Balaghat factory fire death toll has risen up to 25, with two more people succumbing to burn injuries on Thursday, according to police. “Two more persons have died (during treatment). With this, the death toll has climbed to 25. Among the deceased are 20 women and five men,” Additional Director General of Police (Balaghat range) G Janardhan told PTI. Three of the five other injured are being treated outside the state and two at a local hospital.
Fire broke out inside the cracker factory in Balaghat’s Kheri village on Wednesday afternoon. The factory is located around 10 kms from the district headquarters in the Kotwali police station limits. Workers were present there when the fire started. Preliminary investigation has found that intense heat caused a spark during cracker assembling that ignited the fire, the ADG said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the next kin of the deceased. The state government would also bear the medical expenses of the injured. According to Balaghat district Collector Bharat Yadav, the cracker factory is owned by Waris Ahmed and was being run legally.
The victims were factory workers, he said, adding that the mishap occurred when the production was on. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
(with inputs from PTI)