Tragedy Strikes: Fire Engulfs Firecracker Factory in India, Claims 11 Lives – South Asia Time

Tragedy Strikes: Fire Engulfs Firecracker Factory in India, Claims 11 Lives

 February 7, 2024  

Harda, Madhya Pradesh: A devastating fire erupted in a firecracker factory located in Bairagarh village, Harda, resulting in a tragic loss of at least 11 lives and leaving over 200 individuals injured. The incident, which occurred approximately 150 km from Bhopal on Tuesday morning, also caused extensive damage to over five dozen nearby houses.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) swiftly mobilized a rescue operation to assist those affected by the blaze. Chief Minister Mohan Yadav expressed profound sorrow over the catastrophe and promptly dispatched ambulances to transport the injured to nearby hospitals. Additionally, medical teams from Bhopal, Indore, and Hoshangabad were placed on standby, ensuring prompt medical assistance for the victims.

President Droupadi Murmu conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wished for the swift recovery of the injured, acknowledging the severity of the tragedy.

The firecracker unit, owned by Rajesh Agrawal, Pradeep Agrawal, and Somesh Agrawal, had previously faced two mishaps and was sealed last year. Allegations suggest that nearby houses were utilized for storing gunpowder, exacerbating the impact of the fire. Reports indicate that the factory employed approximately 400 to 500 workers, who were housed in rented premises adjacent to the factory for production purposes.

As rescue efforts continue, authorities fear that the casualty count may rise further. A precautionary evacuation of around 100 nearby houses has been carried out by local authorities.

In response to the incident, a three-member committee has been formed by the state home department to conduct a thorough investigation. Tensildar Laveena Ghagre of Harda confirmed nine fatalities and 174 injuries officially, with 24 individuals referred to hospitals in Bhopal and Indore for further treatment.

Despite efforts to control the fire, rescue teams remain engaged in clearing debris and locating any individuals trapped beneath the rubble. The factory, spanning four acres of land, presents significant challenges to the ongoing rescue operation as authorities work tirelessly to mitigate the aftermath of this tragic event.