News24

Fireworks blaze kills 30

2009-10-17 07:07

New Delhi - A blaze erupted in a fireworks warehouse in southern India, killing at least 30 people and injuring 10 others ahead of a major Hindu festival on Saturday.

The victims in Friday night's explosion were mainly traders buying fireworks in bulk as millions of Hindus prepared to celebrate Deepavali, the festival of lights, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Setting off fireworks is a major part of the celebration's evening festivities.

Police pulled 30 bodies from the warehouse in Pallipat near Chennai, the capital of southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, PTI quoted police as saying. The injured were taken to hospitals.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known and police officers could not be immediately reached for comment.

Several big cities and small towns of India have illegal factories making fireworks, which are used during festivals, weddings and religious ceremonies. Some illegal workshops operate in homes.

Nearly all the clandestine factories have minimal safety standards and fatal explosions are a regular occurrence.