10 die in blast at illegal firework factory in India

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in northern India killed at least 10 people yesterday (Sat) with specialist bomb disposal teams called in to clear the site.

The blast in Bhadohi district in Uttar Pradesh state caused widespread damage and local residents arrived to find only dead bodies in the debris of the shattered building.

A senior state police official told journalists the factory was being run under the guise of a carpet manufacturing business.

"Special teams including bomb and forensic experts are reaching the site to help and investigate," the officer added.

Media reports said a huge quantity of illegal explosives was stored at the factory.

Explosions often occur in illegal firecracker workshops, especially around the Hindu autumn festival of Diwali.

In October, a blast at another firework factory in Uttar Pradesh killed seven people.

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