ATLEAST FIVE persons were killed in a blast that occurred inside a cracker fractory in Sularghrat village of Dirba sub-division of district Sangrur. JCB machines were pressed into action, along with medical teams, soon after the blast that was reported at 9 pm. Rescue operations were going on till the time of filing this report. The incident occurred at a factory that is a major supplier of crackers to the entire Sangrur district. The two-storey factory building was completely damaged in the blast. Firecrackers had been stashed in the building ahead of the forthcoming festivals of Dussehra and Diwali.
The dead, suspected to be employees of the factory, are yet to be identified. The factory is owned by one Pardeep Gandhi. SSP Sangrur Mandeep Singh Sidhu, who reached the spot, said, “Our teams are on the job to find out if any other body is under the debris as the building has been damaged completely.” The explosion damaged nearby buildings as well, and the impact was also felt at a gurdwara located nearby. Locals rushed for help immediately and were seen assisting distict officials and police in the rescue efforts. The factory was located in a residential area.
AS Virk, Sangrur DC, said,”We are yet to know the cause of the blast. As of now our focus is on relief measures and to assess the damage. A probe will be done to find out the reasons.” On June 13, a blast had occurred at a cracker factory located in Sunam in the same district in which one person had died, while 28 persons had been injured. Police, meanwhile, said that due action will be taken against the owner of the factory, but they were focusing on clearing the debris and look for survivors.
CM orders free treatment for injured
In a statement, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed profound grief and anguish over the massive explosion at a firecracker factory, which led to five casualties at village Sularghrat in Dirba. According to an official spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office, CM Amarinder Singh has directed Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur to ensure the best possible treatment to all the injured at free of cost, besides making adequate arrangements for safe evacuation of people from the debris. He also asked the DC to personally supervise the entire rescue operation. Captain Amarinder Singh also shared his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families.