Harda (Madhya Pradesh): A woman, who lost her parents in the explosion and blaze at a firecrackers factory in Madhya Pradesh's Harda town, said the tragedy was bound to happen and such a unit should not have been operated in a residential area.
She also held the government and the factory owner responsible for Tuesday's incident, which claimed 11 lives and left more than 200 people injured.
Another woman spent the night on a road as her house was damaged in the incident.
A man residing in the area said they had sought removal of the firecrackers unit from the area, but no heed was paid to their demand.
More than 200 people were engaged in the work of manufacturing firecrackers at the unit located in the Bairagarh locality on Magardha Road, on the outskirts of Harda town, when they heard the first explosion at around 11 am on Tuesday.
The factory's surrounding area witnessed chaos as people started running and struggling to reach a safer place.
Unit reduced to rubble
The firecracker unit was reduced to rubble, with scattered bodies, damaged homes and debris lying all around on roads and open areas. Many houses in the vicinity were damaged.
A burnt and overturned truck was seen lying about 50 feet away from the blast site.
Victim holds govt responsible
"The expansion work of the factory and godown was underway. It was bound to happen sometime," Neha, who lost her mother and father in the incident, told PTI in a choked voice.
Her family lives in the vicinity of the factory.
"I hold the government and the factory owner responsible for this incident. They should not have run the factory in the populated area," she said.
Neha, whose house was also burnt, said such an incident occurred earlier also but the authorities concerned did not pay any attention.
"People have died earlier also but the government gave permission...the government opens the seal again (of a unit locked after such incidents) as they (owner) deposit the money. What happens?" she said.
Amardas Saini, another local resident, was at his home when the first explosion took place at around 11 am.
"I was at home when the first blast took place. My wife was cooking food. We ran away amid the blasts, and gravels, concrete splinters and fireballs falling at us. Several motorcycles passing from the road were severely hit," he told PTI.
People's body parts blown away
Saini said the body parts of many people were blown away during this incident.
There are about 40 houses in the vicinity of the factory, he said.
"We have been living in the locality for the past 25 years. We have given several applications (for removal of the factory) to the collector but no one heard our plea," Saini claimed.
Aruna Rajput, a mother of five, lost her house in the incident and spent the night out on a road with her children.
"I ran away after the first blast. Several people in my colony suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment. My entire house got damaged," she said while being unable to hold back her tears.
The woman said she came to the locality about 15 years back after getting married.
"There were small incidents earlier too but I became homeless this time. I spent the night on the road. I have nothing left and want government help," she said.
Rajput thanked god as her family was safe, but said she kept running after the incident, slept on the road at night and returned to the locality in the morning.