Twenty-five people have lost their lives after a fire broke out in a cracker factory at Bhatan village in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh, reported news agency ANI. The fire began around 3 pm in the factory, located about 10 kms from the district headquarters. Most of the deceased are believed to be workers employed in the factory.
While earlier, PTI quoted district collector Bharat Yadav saying that eight bodies were recovered from the debris, the death toll has seemingly gone up. Some of the injured persons have been admitted to nearby hospitals. It is not clear what the cause of the fire is.
Yadav told reporters that an investigation will determine the amount of explosives the factory were allowed to keep.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed condolences to the families of the deceased and announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh. The injured will be treated at hospitals with government assistance, he said.
(Inputs from PTI, ANI)