Six women workers, including a mother and daughter, were burnt alive, while 14 others suffered burns after an explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Bathu under Haroli sub-division of Himachal Pradesh’s Una district at around 10 am on Tuesday. 11 seriously injured workers were referred to PGI Chandigarh, while three are being treated at Regional Hospital Una. The injured included 12 women and two men. The fire department brought the fire under control. The police have registered a case in this case under sections 286, 304A and Explosive Act of IPC. Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the matter is being investigated. The factory operators are absconding from the spot after the incident. Three UP, two Punjab and one local woman are among the dead.
The district administration is also not aware of how long the factory was running. Deputy Commissioner Raghav Sharma told that SDM Haroli Vikas Sharma has been ordered to investigate the matter. He said that the SDM would be empowered to conduct search and confiscation of material under Rule 128, in exercise of the powers of Section 9(2) of the Explosives Act, 1884. The police, who reached the spot, have taken possession of gunpowder and factory from the spot. An RFSL team has been called to investigate the spot and a bomb disposal squad has been called to investigate the explosive material.
In this regard, SP Arjit Sen Thakur said that a case has been registered. All aspects are being examined after taking care. DC Raghav Sharma told that investigation is going on in the matter. The district administration has given an immediate relief of Rs 15,000 to the seriously injured and Rs 5000 to the minor injured. On getting information about the incident, Vice President of Himachal Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation, Prof. Ram Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Una Raghav Sharma, SP Arjit Sen Thakur, SDM Haroli Vikas Sharma, General Manager of District Industries Center Anshul Dhiman and other administrative officers reached the spot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has also expressed grief in the matter by tweeting. The PMO announced Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased women and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.