Thirteen people, including nine from West Bengal, were killed in an explosion at a shop here on Saturday afternoon which led to the collapse of three adjacent houses, officials said.
Six people were also injured in the incident. It is suspected that some people are still trapped under the debris and a rescue operation has been launched, they said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and directed the district officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured, a spokesperson said in Lucknow.
Bhadohi: 10 people dead after an explosion in a two-storey building. Rescue operations underway. Police say, ‘The building was a carpet factory. We have information that fire-crackers were being made here illegally. Investigation is underway’. pic.twitter.com/eCqXEuDir7
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 23, 2019
The blast took place at the shop in Rohta Bazaar, which was run by Kaliyar Mansoori. His son was running a carpet factory behind the shop and its workers could be among those trapped under the debris, District Magistrate Rajendra Prasad said, adding the injured have been admitted to hospital.
Locals claimed that Mansoori was also in the business of making illegal firecrackers.
Earthmoving equipment have been pressed into service to carry out relief and rescue works. Teams of forensic experts, NDRF and senior district officials have reached the site, he said.
Superintendent of Police Rajesh S said SHO of Chauri police station Ajay Kumar Singh, and police chowki in-charge Pramod Kumar Verma have been placed under suspension.
According to an official in West Bengal, the nine people from the state killed in the incident were residents of Malda district. A 10-member team of the Malda district administration and police are leaving for Bhadohi Saturday night to bring back the mortal remains of the workers.