Seventeen persons have been confirmed dead after a massive fire broke out at a fireworks factory on the northern outskirts of the Indian capital on Saturday, a fire official said.
Fire officer K.C. Gupta said a dozen fire engines took three hours to extinguish the fire in the Bawana industrial area of New Delhi. He said seventeen bodies have been recovered so far and one injured worker has been hospitalized.
A search operation is ongoing for any more workers trapped in the two-story structure gutted by the blaze.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
There are fatal accidents nearly every year in India as people work in makeshift factories in the absence of proper safety standards.
In June last year, 23 workers were killed when a blast occurred while they were producing fireworks in Kheri village in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The explosion triggered a blaze that engulfed the factory before firefighters put it out.
India has a huge demand for fireworks, which are used in religious festivals and weddings.
Factories start producing fireworks months before the nation’s biggest Hindu festivals when people set them off in celebration.