Wednesday, May 29, 2024

11 killed, nearly 74 injured in explosion-cum-blaze at firecrackers unit in MP’s Harda


Bhopal/Harda: At least eleven persons were killed and nearly 74 others injured in a powerful explosion and subsequent blaze at a firecrackers factory near Harda town of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, a senior official said.

Some videos of the incident surfaced on social media showing the massive fire with intermittent explosions taking place at the site and people frantically running to save themselves. They showed thick plumes of smoke coming from the factory located at Bairagarh on Magardha Road on the outskirts of Harda town, about 150km from the state capital Bhopal.

“So far, eleven casualties were reported and nearly 74 others were injured in the Harda incident. The injured persons are out of danger,” Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home Sanjay Dubey told PTI.

The cause of the blast was not yet known and efforts were on to control the blaze, according to officials.

Chief Minister Mohan Yadav held a meeting to take stock of the situation and said the Army was being contacted to arrange for helicopters for the rescue work.

“In the meeting, the Chief Minister directed that providing immediate treatment to the injured from the Harda accident is our top priority. Ambulances are being rushed to Harda from the surrounding areas, and the Army has been contacted to arrange for helicopters,” the CMO said in a post on X “I spoke to officials concerned and sought details of the incident,” Yadav said.

The Centre been informed about the tragedy, the CM added.

Yadav announced a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased and said the entire cost of treatment of the injured persons will be borne by the state government.

The CM directed senior minister Uday Pratap Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Ajit Kesari and Director General (Home Guards) Arvind Kumar to rush to Harda by a helicopter.

Burn units in hospitals in Indore, Bhopal and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the state capital were directed to make necessary arrangements for any emergency, an official said.

President Droupadi Murmu said she was deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the tragedy and offered condolences to the bereaved family members.

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a message posted on X, said “Distressed by the loss of lives due to the mishap at a cracker factory in Harda, Madhya Pradesh. Condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones. May those injured recover at the earliest.” Modi announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to the next of the kin of each of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

“The local administration is assisting all those affected. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured will be given Rs 50,000,” he added.


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