“Deeply anguished to learn of the deaths,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted.

Gurdaspur, Punjab: 

At least 16 people have died and dozens are feared trapped after a massive explosion took place today at a firecracker making factory in Punjab’s Gurdaspur, according to news agency ANI.

The incident took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area in Gurdaspur’s Batala, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar said.

The impact of the explosion was such that the factory was completely destroyed and nearby buildings were damaged too.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said rescue operations are underway with the District Collector and the Senior Superintendent of Police heading the relief efforts.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF and the State Disaster Response Force or SDRF are aiding rescue operations. Senior police and district administration are also present at the spot.

With inputs from PTI and ANI

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