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Hapur factory explosion: Unit owner, operator arrested; death toll 13

"So far, 13 people have been killed, while 20 are injured. The injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Meerut," Hapur SP said.

Reported by: PTI Hapur Published on: June 06, 2022 8:51 IST
Hapur factory fire
Image Source : PTI

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Highlights

  • Wasim, the operator of the unit, had fled after the explosion
  • He sustained burn injuries on his hands and there were stitches on his head as well
  • He received first-aid after the incident and took off, the police said

Both, the owner and the operator of the factory in Hapur where an explosion claimed 13 lives, were arrested on Sunday, police said. Wasim, the operator of the unit, had fled after the explosion. He sustained burn injuries on his hands and there were stitches on his head as well, a senior police official said, adding that he received first-aid after the incident and took off.

"He was arrested on Sunday afternoon from the Hapur-Meerut bypass," Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Bhuker said.

"We are providing medical treatment to him," he said.

"Police have also arrested Dilshad, the owner of the factory," the SP said.

An FIR has been registered against both of them, the police said.

The explosion took place on Saturday at Ruhi Industries in the Dhaulana area.

"So far, 13 people have been killed, while 20 are injured. The injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Meerut," Bhuker said.

He added that 11 out of the 13 deceased have been identified, and they are from Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Bihar.

Soon after news of the explosion got out, Shahjahanpur district's Bhanderi village, located 280 km from Hapur, drowned in grief.

Superintendent of Police of Shahjahanpur S Anand told PTI they have information that 10 of the deceased were from the village.

"We are in touch with the police administration in Hapur to get details about others who were killed or injured in the accident," he said.

In a statement, the Shahjahanpur Police identified the deceased as Sarvesh, Anil, Bhure, Ramu, Anoop, Prempal, Irfan, Chaviram, Noor Hasan and Raghvendra.

Dharmendra Singh Kushwaha, the representative of the village head, said around 40 people from the village were employed in the factory.

"At least 10 people from our village have been killed in the accident. Around eight others are hospitalised," he said.

"Around 20 of the workers had recently come to their homes for Eid celebrations. Some of them are among those killed or injured in the blast," he added.

Some villagers claimed that the family members of the victims, who reached Hapur after hearing about the incident, were not being allowed to see them.

A resident, Akhtar Ali, said that the workers were living in shanties in Hapur.

"The family members of those killed or injured in the accident who have gone to Hapur are facing a lot of trouble in getting information about their loved ones," said Ali.

Another villager Rakesh said that his son also works at the same factory in Hapur. Rakesh said he fears the worst as he has not heard from his son after the incident.

Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, Praveen Kumar said the factory was licensed to manufacture only electronic goods, and an investigation is underway to ascertain how explosives reached there.

The police said they suspect crackers were being manufactured in the factory.

Bhuker said Dilshad and Wasim have been booked under IPC sections 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), 304 (culpable homicide), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 (act endangering human lives) and 338 (causing grievous hurt).

The victims' bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination, the SP said.

District Magistrate Medha Roopam said an investigation is underway. "Factories in the area are being checked, and soon, the reality of the incident will come to the fore and strict action will be taken against the accused," she said.

At the time of the incident, there were around 30 people at the factory in the UPSIDC Industrial Area in Dholana, around 80 km from the national capital, officials said.

The impact of the explosion was so intense that the roofs of some of the factories located in the vicinity were damaged. It took three hours for fire tenders to douse the blaze.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives.

Also Read | Hapur factory fire: Gunpowder suspected behind blast; plastic pallets recovered from spot

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