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Punjab: 19 dead in explosion at cracker factory in Batala, state govt orders magisterial probe

The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered by the CM and the ADC of Batla has been directed to conduct an inquiry into the blast

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 4, 2019 10:36:33 pm
The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area. (Express photo: Rana Simranjit Singh)

At least 19 people were killed and 27 injured in a blast at a firecracker factory in Punjab’s Batala on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of deceased, Rs 50,000 for the seven people who were injured and admitted to Amritsar Medical college and Rs 25,000 to people who received minor injuries.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered by the CM and the ADC of Batla has been directed to conduct an inquiry into the blast, the state government said in a statement. Further, the Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa have been directed by the CM to rush to the site to oversee the relief and rescue operations.

Several people are feared trapped under the debris and rescue operation is underway. (Express photo: Rana Simranjit Singh)

Singh “directed both the Civil and Police administration of district Gurdaspur district to extend all possible help to the victims’ families in this hour of grief. He also directed the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, to provide the best possible treatment to the injured free of cost, besides asking SSP Batala to supervise the evacuation operations being carried out by the NDRF teams,” the statement said.

The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, PTI quoted Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar.

NDRF and SDRF are present at the site of the incident. (Express photo: Rana Simranjit Singh)

Expressing grief over the loss of lives, the CM said rescue operations are underway.

“Deeply anguished to learn of the loss of life due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC & SSP heading the relief efforts,” tweeted Singh.

Several people are feared trapped under the debris and rescue operation is underway. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation.

Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol too expressed grief over the incident. “Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory.NDRF teams and local administration has been rushed for rescue operation,” Deol tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Congress party too shred their grief over the incident.

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