At least ten people were killed in an explosion at a cracker manufacturing factory in coastal East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The accident took place in a building in Vakatippa village in the coastal district. Firecrackers were being manufactured illegally in the building, the police said.
“There was a big explosion in the cracker manufacturing factory. Our people (police) have counted eight people dead,” a senior police official said on telephone.
Fire tenders are at the spot to contain the raging blaze at the unit.
Rescue workers were shifting the injured to nearby hospitals.
Officials said the toll may go up as at least 20 people were working in the unit at the time of the blast.
The unit at Uppada Kothapalli is some 5 kms away from the beach near the district headquarters town of Kakinada, about 500 kms from here.
Cause of the blast was not immediately known. Superintendent of Police Ravi Prakash said the fire broke out during a lunch break at the factory. The government has ordered an investigation. “We are verifying (the blast). Fire and forensic experts have rushed to the spot,” Mr. Prakash added.