At least three persons were killed and over 15 injured in an explosion in a firecracker manufacturing unit in Nellore town of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.
"The incident occurred at 10am in the morning when a fire broke out in the unit located in Porlukatta, at the outskirts of the town," said G Venkat Ramudu, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nellore.
Three bodies were recovered from the spot. The injured were shifted to various hospitals in the town, with most of them in a critical condition.
The district Superintendent of Police and District Collector rushed to the scene and were supervising relief operations.
State Home Minister N Chinnarajappa has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
"Initially, the injured were taken to a nearby government hospital, and later now they have been shifted to Narayana Hospital at Chinthareddypalem. We are yet to find the person who is responsible for it. Initial investigation suggests that this was an illegal manufacturing company. However, the matter is still under investigation and it is yet to be confirmed," he added.
The police are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.
The dead people have been identified as Bhaskar, Nagaraju and Polaiah.
According to reports, the condition of at least eight injured was critical, as they had suffered more than 60% burns.
More details are awaited.
Condolences to the families of the deceased & prayers for the injured people.2/2— Bandaru Dattatreya (@Dattatreya) December 31, 2016
Preliminary reports said there are 30 ppl in and around the firecrackers unit and that the death toll could increase. #Nellore— Jayanth (@jayanthpTOI) December 31, 2016