At least 8 people died and 80 were injured today from a powerful explosion at a fireworks factory in central India, authorities said.

Images broadcast by Indian television networks show flames from the factory rise into the sky after the explosion at the factory in Harda district, Madhya Pradesh state. Dozens of ambulances rushed to the scene to transport the injured to the hospital.

According to district police official Rajeswari Mahobiya, “the death toll so far stands at 8 and the injured at around 80”. “The death toll is believed to rise,” he told AFP.

The head of state government Mohan Yadav said that doctors in the serious burns units of the main nearby hospitals were asked to “make the necessary preparations”.

“Ambulances are being sent to Harda from many surrounding areas and the army has been informed to arrange helicopter dispatch,” Yadav noted in a message on social media X.

At least 20 ambulances they have already rushed and another 50 have been sent for the injured, he added.

Manis Sharma, a surgeon at Harda Hospital, said many injured people are being taken there. “We have 8 deaths in our hospital, a total of 90 people have been admitted here so far and 15 have been transferred to another bigger hospital,” he told AFP. “After their rescue, others are brought here.”

About 15 fire engines were mobilized to extinguish the fire, which was still not under control at noon today, said Kailas Sand Part, an official in the area who is coordinating the rescue operations at the factory.

Around 200 to 300 people work in this unit, but it is not known how many were in the factory when the explosion occurred, he explained.

“At least 10 buildings around the complex where the explosion occurred have been damaged by its force,” he added.


Some lost their lives in “walking that took place after the explosion,” according to Abdul Rais Khan, a police officer quoted by the Times of India, who added that rescue teams “have not yet reached the site of the blast as the fire is still raging.”

Explosions occur frequently in fireworks and crackers factories in India.

Fireworks are very popular in the country, especially for the Hindu festival of lights Diwali as well as wedding receptions. However, many factories do not comply with basic safety standards.

The 2019at least 18 people were killed in an explosion at a fireworks factory in Batala in Punjab state and 10 others died the same year in Badohi in Uttar Pradesh state.