At least six people were killed in a serial blast that took place on Sunday afternoon in the residential premises at Khodaibag under Khaira police station of Saran district, Bihar.
District SP Santosh Kumar informed that an unlicensed crackers factory was running on the premises which was the cause of the incident.
House owners, Reyazul Miyan and Shabbir Miyan, are among those killed in the explosions as the three-storey building collapsed and the entire premises was razed to the ground.
Police apprehend the casualty may go up with the removal of debris. Apart from the dead, three injured were admitted to the Chapra hospital and two were rushed to Patna Medical College Hospital.
According to the villagers, along with the crackers manufacturing factory, two shops of readymade garments were operating in the building. Forensic Science experts from Patna have reached Chapra for further investigations.
Sub-divisional police officer, Munishwar Prasad Singh said that the experts collected chemical and explosive materials used in the manufacture of crackers. Due to the intensity of the blasts, a river bridge on Gandak near the village has also been damaged.
The police said that the sound was heard three km away from the site of the explosion.
The Intelligence Bureau had recently alerted the police in eight districts, including Saran about the presence of unauthorised crackers manufacturing units and alerted about their operations to disturb the peace.
"Crackers and pilferage of explosive materials could be exploited by the criminals and anti-national elements for carrying out nefarious activities as well as it may cause accidental loss of life and property. Earlier, inputs have indicated that the Pak-based terror operatives look for local supply channels and networks for carrying out sabotage activities and the presence of sleeper cells and their reach in BIHAR has manifested in various violent incidents/blasts at Bodh Gaya, Gandhi Maidan, Patna etc," IB had told the police.
IB had asked the police to check the illegal trade of firecrackers.
District Magistrate of Saran, Rajesh Meena who visited the site of the blasts said explosions took place when crackers were being manufactured.
Blasts damaged a multi-storey building adjoining the cracker manufacturing unit and neighbouring mosque. Officials said explosions started at 10,35 am and continued till 1.15 pm.
Five members of the Mohammad Mulajim family, including two women, were found dead.