Harda: A massive fire broke out at an illegal firecracker factory located on Magardha Road in Harda city of Madhya Pradesh following an explosion on Tuesday morning. The fire soon spread to over 50 nearby houses after coming in contact with the gunpowder stored for making fireworks in the factory. The area was engulfed in chaos and panic as people were seen running for their lives.
The flames and smoke rising from the factory could be seen from several kilometers away. According to the latest reports, at least seven people have died and more than 100 have been injured in the accident. Several dead bodies were found lying on the road near the factory. It is estimated that more than 100 people are still trapped inside the factory, where the sound of explosions can be heard intermittently.
The fire brigade vehicles rushed to the spot after receiving the information but faced difficulties in reaching the factory due to the narrow lanes and the crowd of people. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but some sources said that it could be due to a short circuit or a spark. It is also reported that more than 250 workers were working inside the factory at the time of the explosion, most of them women and children. There is a high possibility of many casualties in this accident.
The injured are being sent to the hospital through ambulances and other vehicles of the police and the district administration. The doctors were kept on high alert in Hamidia Hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. Some of the injured were also sent to Bhopal and Indore for better treatment. A green corridor was created from Harda to Bhopal to facilitate the movement of ambulances.
Four ambulances and a team of doctors were also dispatched from the Betul district to assist with the relief and treatment work in Harda. The Betul Collector instructed the CMHO Ravikant Uike to send a team of four doctors with medicines and equipment. The CMHO said that four 108 ambulances were also sent and the health officials of Harda district were being continuously contacted to provide any further assistance if needed.
The movement of people and vehicles was restricted within a radius of about one kilometer of the firecracker factory to prevent any further damage or mishap. The police put barricades on Magardha Road and Narmada Puram-Khandwa State Highway and evacuated the vehicles and the people from the area.
The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mohan Yadav, called an emergency meeting to review the situation and take necessary actions. He instructed ministers Pradyuman Tomar and Uday Pratap Singh, ACS Ajit Kesari, and DG Home Guard Arvind Kumar to go to Harda immediately and oversee the relief and rescue operations. He also asked the Medical College in Bhopal, Indore, and the burn unit in AIIMS Bhopal to make necessary preparations to treat the injured. He said that fire brigades from Indore and Bhopal were also being sent to Harda to help in extinguishing the fire. He said that the best treatment of the injured was his priority and assured that the state government would provide all possible help and compensation to the victims and their families. He also ordered a probe into the incident and said that strict action would be taken against those responsible for running the illegal firecracker factory.