Harda tragedy: 9 dead, 200 injured in fireworks factory blaze per official

As per the information, at least 100 homes located near the area have been vacated to ensure the safety of people

Fire breaks out at a firecracker factory in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on 6 February (photo: IANS)
Fire breaks out at a firecracker factory in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on 6 February (photo: IANS)
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NH Digital

At least seven people have been killed and 200 others injured after a massive fire broke out at a firecracker factory in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, 6 February.

With the help of locals, the police rescued several persons living near the factory. At least 100 homes near the factory have been evacuated.

The incident occurred at a firecracker factory located in Bairagarh village in Harda district, around 150 km from Bhopal. A green corridor has been set up to rush the injured persons to the AIIMS and Hamidiya hospitals in Bhopal. Similarly, a green corridor was also made from Harda to Indore to rush some of the injured persons to different hospitals there.

At present, the state government is not certain of the exact number of casualties.

However, reports suggested that several persons were burnt alive and bodies were spotted on the road outside the factory. The fire broke out at 11:30 am, and efforts are still on to douse the blaze.

Chief minister Mohan Yadav chaired an emergency meeting with senior officials and has passed necessary instructions regarding this. Minister Uday Pratap Singh along with some senior officials have been sent to Harda, the CMO said in an official communication.

Yadav announced an assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased. The entire cost of treatment of injured persons is to be borne by the state government.

The President and the Prime Minister condoled the bereaved in separate statements. The PMO has announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of each person deceased in this incident. The injured will be given Rs 50,000 each.

Boy missing after delivering food to father

"I have not been able to find my son so far," said a visibly worried man, whose eight-year-old son went missing after delivering food to him, after an explosion erupted at the factory.

The man, Raju, worked at the firecracker unit.

A number of videos of the incident have surfaced on social media, showing intermittent explosions taking place at the site amidst the huge blaze, and people running helter-skelter to save themselves.

In some videos, people were heard saying the body parts of victims got scattered far away from the spot.

Raju told reporters that an explosion took place at the factory at the moment his son delivered food to him.

"The explosion occurred as my son Ganesh delivered the tiffin for me. He ran ahead of me, but I have not been able to find him so far," the man said in an emotionally choked voice.

He said more than 150 people worked in the unit and that he fled to safety following the incident.

Some eyewitnesses claimed that materials blown away from the unit also hit passing vehicles. They claimed the explosions could be heard even 20–25 kilometres away.

Some people shot videos of the fire while running away from the spot and from the roofs of houses located a good distance away. Locals claimed some houses located nearby were also damaged in the incident.

The CMO said that 14 doctors had been immediately sent to Harda from nearby places, including Narmadapuram. 

It also stated that 20 ambulances were present in Harda and 50 more had been pressed into service this afternoon. 

Fire tenders had been called to Harda from Bhopal, Indore, Betul, Hoshangabad, Bhairunda, Rehti and other urban bodies and institutions, the CMO added.

Kharge expresses grief over deaths

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday expressed grief over the death of several people in a blast in a firecracker unit in Madhya Pradesh's Harda town.

He also called upon Congress workers to take all possible measures in helping provide treatment to the injured.

The Congress chief sought compensation for the houses around the cracker factory damaged in the fire.

"The news of death of several people due to a blast in a firecracker factory in Harda, Madhya Pradesh, is very painful. More than 100 people are injured.

"Our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. May God give them strength in this difficult time," he said in a post in Hindi on X.

"We demand that the state government should provide appropriate compensation for the loss of life and property due to fire in nearby houses," he also said.

At least seven people were killed and 63 others injured after the explosion leading to a blaze at the factory.

With inputs from PTI and IANS

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