At least nine people have been killed and seven others injured following a powerful explosion at a house in Bhagalpur district, Bihar, police said on Friday.
The blast took place around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night at Kajwali Chak village house under Tatarpur police station. The explosion was so intense that four houses collapsed and the noise was heard about 15 km from the site.
Following the blast, Bhagalpur chain DIG Sujit Kumar, District Magistrate Subrat Kumar Sen, Chief Superintendent of Police (SSP) Babu Ram and other senior officials arrived at the scene.
“The explosion may have occurred during the illegal manufacture of domestically-made crude bombs. It is also possible that the alleged individuals were manufacturing crackers. As the nature of the explosion was so intense, we believe the amount of ‘explosives was very high,’ said Sujit Kumar.
Of the seven victims, two were identified as Ganesh Prasad Singh (60), Urmila Devi (65), while the identities of the other five were not yet known.
Those injured were identified as Soni Kumari (30), Navin Mandal (32), Rahul Kumar (20) Aayesha Kumari (25), Rinku Kumar Shah (30), Vaishnavi (30) and Jaya (35).
The injured were admitted to Mayaganj Hospital in Bhagalpur. Four of them are in critical condition.
Local police believe there may be more people trapped under the debris. The rescue operation began shortly after the incident.
“We are in the process of recording the testimony of the injured to know the nature of the explosives. We have also called the FSL team to collect the samples as well,” Kumar said.
The areas around Bhagalpur and Munger are hubs for the illegal manufacture of guns and bombs.