MALDA: Nine people from West Bengal's Malda district were among the 13 killed in an explosion at a shop in Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, a top district official claimed here.
A 10-member team of the district administration and police are leaving for Bhadohi Saturday night to fetch the mortal remains of the workers, Malda District Magistrate Kaushik Bhattacharya said.
At least 13 people were killed and six injured in the explosion at a shop in Bhadohi on Saturday afternoon which led to the collapse of three adjacent houses, officials said.
The blast took place at the shop in Rohta Bazaar, which was run by Kaliyar Mansoori.
His son was running a carpet factory behind the shop and its workers could be among those trapped under the debris, District Magistrate Rajendra Prasad said.
Local people claimed that Mansoori was also in the business of making illegal firecrackers.
"Nine people from Malda were killed in the blast," Bhattacharya said.
The Malda DM said he talked to his Bhadohi counterpart on this matter.
Superintendents of Police of both the districts were also in touch with each other, Bhattacharya said.
The DM said a team of about 20 people from the district had recently joined the carpet factory where the blast occurred.
Manikchak Block Development Officer Surajit Pandit said eight of the deceased are from Enayetpur and one from Mathurapur gram panchayats.
Many labourers of Malda district work in various industries outside the state.
Mamata expresses condolences
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the deaths. "My condolences to the families of the 10 people killed in Varanasi. 9 of those who lost their lives in this tragedy are from Malda," Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle when the death toll was less.
The chief minister said the state police were assisting family members of the deceased in bringing back the bodies.
Two state ministers Firhad Hakim and Shuvendu Adhikari - were rushing to Malda, she said.
The chief minister also extended her condolence to the families of the 85 people who lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in Assam.
"We must all work towards preventing these tragedies," Banerjee said in another tweet on Saturday evening.
The hooch tragedy in Assam's Jorhat and Golaghat districts claimed 85 lives since Thursday night while 340 people were undergoing treatment in hospitals.