At least 16 killed in Punjab factory blast; Amarinder Singh, Sunny Deol express grief

Batala: At least 16 people were killed in a blast at a firecracker factory in Batala of Gurdaspur district on Wednesday, Punjab Police said.

Several people were feared trapped under the debris, they said, adding that the rescue operation was underway. The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar told PTI.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed shock over the loss of life in the incident .

“Deeply anguished to learn the loss of life due to the blast in the firecracker factory in Batala. Rescue operations are underway with the DC and the SSP heading relief efforts,” Amarinder tweeted. Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol too expressed grief over the incident.

“Saddened to hear about the news of blast in Batala factory. NDRF teams and local administration have been rushed for rescue operation,” Deol said in his tweet.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation.

Senior officials of the district administration and police have reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)