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Madhya Pradesh: Rescue operation completed in Harda firecracker factory blast; 11 killed, 173 sustained injuries

Harda: The rescue operation in Harda's firecracker factory blast incident was completed on Wednesday evening in which 11 persons died and 173 were injured, an official said.

A massive fire broke out inside a firecracker factory located in the Bairagarh area of Harda district on Tuesday morning.
"The rescue operation has concluded. 32 fire tenders threw water to cool down the debris on the spot and 12 poclain machines were used to clear the debris. Around 1000 employees were engaged in the operation. So far 11 deaths have been reported and left 173 injured, who are fine and undergoing treatment," Narmadapura Divisional Commissioner Pawan Sharma said.

Two licences issued earlier stand suspended. The amount of explosives present at the site can be ascertained only after a thorough investigation, he further said, adding that investigation into the matter is going on and action will be taken accordingly.
The officer also said that the state government formed an investigation committee into the matter and it would begin the probe from this evening.
Due to the massive explosion, the entire area was engulfed in black smoke, with window panes of houses and shops located in the vicinity getting shattered.

Dozens of houses located nearby were gutted in the incident that took place. Locals recounted that it felt as if an earthquake had hit Harda. Several vehicles were also caught fire in the explosions.
Meanwhile, two people have been arrested in connection with the firecracker factory blast incident, police said.
The arrested accused have been identified as Rajesh Aggarwal and Somesh Aggarwal. Harda Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Kanchan said that they were questioning one more person in connection to the blast incident.

"We have taken two persons into custody named Rajesh Aggarwal and Somesh Aggarwal, from Sarangpur. They have been booked under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 34 (common intention). Another accused, Rafiq Khan, is also being questioned," the police official told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, Chief Minister Mohan Yadav met the injured admitted to Hamidia Hospital in the state capital, Bhopal.
Following the incident, the chief minister announced assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased and free treatment for the injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the loss of lives in the tragic Harda factory blast and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund to the next of kin of each of the deceased. He also announced Rs 50,000 for the injured.
"Distressed by the loss of lives due to the mishap at a cracker factory in Harda, Madhya Pradesh. Condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones. May those injured recover at the earliest. The local administration is assisting all those affected. Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured will be given Rs. 50,000," the PMO said in a post on X. 

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