SOLAPUR: Five women workers were today killed and nine others injured in a major blast at a firecracker factory in Bhalwani village in Maharashtra's Solapur district, police said.
The toll is likely to go up as some workers are feared trapped under the debris of the structure which caved in under the impact of the explosion, they said.
The blast took place at Sagar firecracker factory after the gun powder used in making crackers caught fire. The intensity of the explosion was so high that eight rooms of the factory collapsed, police said.
"As of now, five dead bodies have been removed and all are women....The exact toll could be known only after the rescue work is over....JCB machines are pressed into service for removing the rubble," Mangalvedha tehsil police station incharge P Bhosale told PTI late in the evening.
According to a villager Maulana Begumpur, the blast took place at around 5:30 PM and the factory soon caught fire.
Rescue operations are in full swing and three fire engines were pressed into service to control the flames, police said.