Toll in Deeg explosion rises to 25

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Jaipur, Oct 23 (UNI) Eight more bodies were extricated from the debris of the houses damaged in explosion in a cracker manufacturer's premises in Deeg town of Bharatpur in Rajasthan last night, taking the toll to 25, Superintendent of Police Rohit Mahajan said.

The blast caused a major fire which engulfed a few houses in the neighbourhood. About half-a-dozen houses were damaged badly burying several people under the debris, Mr Mahajan said.

At least six people, including a girl, were rescued from the debris by the rescue teams which worked overnight.

Seventeen people were being treated at the Deeg Hospital, the hospital sources said.

SP Mahajan clarified that earlier the reports put the toll at 27 as confusion led to over-counting of the bodies.

The administration has granted an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased, Home Secretary S N Thanvi said here.

The ex-gratia would be disbursed to the victims' families after clearance from the Election Commission, Mr Thanvi said.

The inquiry into the cause and circumstances of the explosion had been entrusted to Bharatpur Divisional Commissioner Rajendra Bhanawat, who is expected to submit a report within a fortnight, he added.

Six cases of illegal stocking of explosives and illicit manufacturing of crackers had been lodged and 10 people were arrested in this connection, police sources said.

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