Kolkata, May 7: At least 11 people were killed and seven injured in an explosion at a firecracker factory in West Bengal, police said on Thursday.
The explosion took place late on Wednesday at Pingla in West Midnapore district.
"Eleven people have been killed and seven others injured in the explosion that took place in a fire cracker factory. The condition of the injured is critical, the toll may rise," superintendent of police (SP) Bharati Ghosh told IANS.
Ranjan Maity, the factory's owner, has gone missing after the incident.
Local residents, however, claimed the death toll to be much higher alleging that the factory was used for making bombs.
"The explosion was so loud that it shook nearby houses and cracks have also developed. Maity is a criminal and he used the factory to make bombs. Bodies are still strewn inside the factory. Many more have died," said a local resident.