Harda: A massive explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday claimed 11 lives and injured over 100 people, many of whom are in critical condition. The blast, which occurred at a factory and warehouse located in Bairagarh village under the city limits of Harda, was so powerful that it shattered the glass windows and caused a stampede in a radius of 15 kilometers. The rescue operation is still underway, as several people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
The district administration has issued phone numbers for the relatives and friends of the missing and the injured to seek any kind of assistance and information. The numbers are as follows:
- SDM Harda KC Parate: 9425042205
- Tehsildar Harda Lavina Ghaghare: 7509756213
- Revenue Inspector Pankaj Khatri: 8770162348
- Patwari Jhankalal Panwar: 9746489702
- Patwari Uday Singh Uike: 9977360806
The injured have been rushed to the nearby hospitals for treatment. Some of the critically injured have been referred to Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal, where Chief Minister Dr. Mohan Yadav visited them on Tuesday evening. He said that two of them were undergoing surgery, and nine others were admitted to the hospital. He also said that one of the 12 injured who were brought to the hospital had succumbed to his injuries. He expressed his grief and condolences to the families of the deceased and assured them of all possible help from the government.
The Chief Minister also said that he would visit Harda on Wednesday to take stock of the situation. He said that he had asked the collectors of all the districts to investigate and report on the status of the ordinance and firecracker factories in their areas. He warned that no one involved in the blast would be spared, and strict action would be taken against the factory owner and operator after the investigation.
The cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained, but preliminary reports suggest that it could have been triggered by a short circuit or a spark. The firecracker factory was operating illegally, without any license or safety measures. The blast has raised questions over the lax enforcement of the rules and regulations governing the firecracker industry in the state. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the dead, and Rs 2 lakh to the seriously injured. The Prime Minister’s Office has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 to the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.