Khanna (Punjab): Five persons were killed and 13 others critically injured on Wednesday in a blast at a chemical factory in Khanna town of Ludhiana district.
Police sources said that two persons were killed on the spot and three succumbed to their injuries later taking the toll to five.
The 13 persons who received serious burn injuries were admitted in PGI, Chandigarh and Government Medical College and Hospital Chandigarh.
Ludhiana Range DIG M F Farooqi visited the factory to take stock of the situation. Police is investigating the case and stern action will be taken if anyone is found guilty of negligence, he added.
The sources said that the blast was so powerful that trees near the factory and some cycles parked within the factory were also burnt.
Around 50 persons were working in the factory when the blast took place.
As per initial reports, the blast took place due to explosion of a boiler in the unit. Further investigations were on, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs.1 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 to the seriously injured.