A volunteer near a damaged house after a massive explosion ripped through a three-storey building, under Tatarpur Police station, in Bhagalpur district, on March 4, 2022. (PTI)
Patna: At least 14 persons lost their lives and nine others were seriously injured in an explosion at an illegal cracker factory in Bihar’s Bhagalpur late Thursday night.
The incident occurred in a three-storied building in Kajbalichak locality under Tatarpur police station which is close to the blast site, sources from Bhagalpur said.
Local residents who witnessed the incident said the explosion was so powerful that it damaged other buildings in the area. Reports suggest that three houses were completely damaged and reduced to debris.
Officials said that the injured are admitted to a local government hospital for treatment.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed concern over the explosion in Bhagalpur and directed Chief Secretary and DGP to probe the matter and take appropriate action.
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the Bhagalpur blast incident and discussed the issue with Bihar Chief Minister.
"It’s painful to hear about the loss of lives due to blast in Bhagalpur. Discussed the matter related to the blast with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The administration is engaged in relief and rescue operations and all possible assistance is being provided to the victims", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet on Friday.
Reports suggest that the house where the explosion occurred were being used as an illegal firecracker factory. Sources said that local residents on many occasions earlier had raised objections and asked the owner of the factory to stop illegal operations but nothing happened.
The matter was also reported to the local police but no action was taken against the accused, sources from Bhagalpur said.
However, after the incident, senior officials on Friday ordered the suspension of the SHO Tatarpur police station. A probe has also been ordered against him, sources from Bhagalpur said.
Police probing the incident said that "prima facie it appears that the family who lived in the house was involved in making illegal firecrackers. We are waiting for reports from FSL and bomb squad for further action".