India firecracker factory blast toll hits 25
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India firecracker factory blast toll hits 25

Seven others injured after blaze in gunpowder stock triggers explosion at site in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state

Screen capture from video showing the aftermath of a deadly explosion at an Indian firecracker factory in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state, June 8, 2017. (YouTube/The Times of India)
Screen capture from video showing the aftermath of a deadly explosion at an Indian firecracker factory in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state, June 8, 2017. (YouTube/The Times of India)

The death toll from an explosion at a firecracker factory in central India has risen to 25, an official said Thursday, after five workers succumbed to their injures overnight.

Emergency workers removed at least 20 charred bodies from the mangled structure Tuesday after a fire hit gunpowder stocks triggering a blast at the workshop in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state.

“Three more workers are in a serious condition, while five succumbed to their injuries,” Balaghat government official Bharat Yadav told AFP.

Yadav said seven others were being treated in the hospital.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident and have charged the factory owner with criminally negligent manslaughter, but have not yet been able to arrest him.

Workplace accidents are common in India, where poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations have led to horrific deaths.

An explosion set off by a blaze at a firecracker factory in Tamil Nadu left 20 workers dead in October.

Five workers were killed in a similar incident in northern Uttar Pradesh state in November.

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