4 killed, 40 trapped as fire sweeps cracker factory

Solapur (Maharashtra), Feb 20 (IANS) At least four women were burnt alive while another 40 were trapped as a fire broke out in a fire cracker factory in a village in this Maharashtra district Monday, police said.

According to police official N. N. Dede of Mangalwedha sub-district police station, the blaze engulfed the premises of Sagar Fireworks in Bhalwani village around 5 p.m.

Fire brigade and police rushed to the factory even as local villagers pitched in to fight the blaze which was spreading to nearby sheds, Dede said.

'We have reports of at least four women having succumbed in the fire and villagers said another 40 workers are still trapped inside the factory. We are trying to search and rescue them,' Dede told IANS.

The officials managed to rescue eight workers who sustained severe burn injuries and have been rushed to nearby hospitals. The cause of the fire is not clear yet.