2 dead in explosion at cracker unit

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Haridwar (U'khand), Mar 18 (PTI) Two workers were killed and three others, including two women, were wounded in an explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district on Thursday, police said.

There are 25 labourers working at the factory in Piran Kaliyar, around 25 km from Haridwar. But only about five-seven people were present there at the time of the accident around 1.30 pm as it was lunch time, police said.

Two people died in the blast, while the three injured have been sent to the nearby Roorkee hospital, where their condition is said to be critical, Kaliyar police station incharge Jagmohan Ramola said.

The deceased have not been identified and the cause of the explosion has also not been ascertained yet, police said.

The intensity of the blast was so high that the tin sheds of the factory blew away. There was also a crowd due to the Urs festival at Kaliyar Sharif Dargah and a stampede broke out as soon as the explosion took place.

Police said the factory was being illegally operated by Zakir, a resident of Roorkee. PTI CORR SNE HMB