21 killed, 27 hurt in Punjab factory blast

BATALA: Twenty-one people were killed while 27 injured in a blast at a firecracker factory in Batala of Gurdaspur district on Wednesday, an official said.

Several people were feared trapped under the debris, police said, adding that the rescue operation was underway.

The blast took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar told reporters.

Batala Senior Medical Officer Sanjiv Bhalla said, “A total of 21 people have died in the blast.”

Earlier, Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal said 19 people had died in the blast and 27 sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.     (AGENCIES)