Blast at India explosives factory kills at least two
December 01 2016 10:09 AM

AFP/New Delhi

At least two workers have been killed and 13 more are missing feared dead after a blast at an explosives factory in south India, an emergency department official said Thursday.

G Sathyanarayanan said two bodies had been recovered from the burnt-out building and rescue teams using bulldozers and drills were searching the wreckage for survivors.

‘We fear 15 have died. There were 18 workers inside the factory, but we are hearing that three had left before the blast,’ Sathyanarayanan told AFP by phone from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where the disaster occurred.

‘Up to 18 people were inside the building at the time of the blast,’ Sathyanarayanan told AFP.

Sathyanarayanan said the blast at the factory, which manufactured gelignite sticks -- a type of explosive -- had been triggered by a fire, but the cause of the blaze was unclear.

Fatal accidents occur frequently in Indian factories, many of which are small-scale, unregistered operations that do not conform to safety regulations.

Thirteen workers died at an illegal garment manufacturing factory in New Delhi last month after an electric short circuit triggered a fire.

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