NEW DELHI, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people were feared killed and several others injured Thursday in a blast that triggered devastating fire inside an explosive making factory in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, police said Monday.
The explosion took place at Thuraiyur of Tiruchirapalli district, about 312 km southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
"Today morning we received information about the blast inside an explosive making factory that had triggered fire," G Sathyanarayanan, a senior official of Fire and Rescue Services in Tiruchirappalli told Xinhua. "We have been able to rescue six people in the injured condition, who were immediately hospitalised. On the spot, we have recovered two bodies and several severed body parts."
Locals said the fire coupled with blasts triggered panic among people in the surrounding areas and forced local authorities to suspend traffic in the vicinity. The devastating fire reportedly gutted the factory and raised its building to ground.
According to Sathyanarayanan 16 people were reported to be missing in the blast.
"As per duty roaster available with the factory, 16 people were inside it at the time of blast," he said. "It is matter of thorough police investigation that can reveal the exact number of people killed in the blast."
Officials said the cause of the blast and fire inside the factory was being ascertained.
The 25-year old factory registered with government was manufacturing gelignite sticks used for deepening and widening water wells in the rocky areas.
Chances of fire in Indian factories are usually high as owners usually ignore safety standards vis-a-vis fire and store fuel and combustible materials in a haphazard manner.
Last month seven people were charred to death in a devastating fire inside a factory in northern Indian state of Haryana.