An enormous mushroom cloud went up hundreds of meters high as firecrackers, seized by police, were set off in a controlled explosion in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Thursday, shattering window panes of houses even on the other bank of the river Chinsurah in Hooghly district.
Official sources said the explosion happened in the district's Naihati town when police were defusing a large number of firecrackers they had seized from illegal manufacturing units in the area.
The impact was so huge that windowpanes of houses even in Chinsurah in Hooghly district were shattered, besides damaging several buildings in the Ramghat area of Naihati. Some police vehicles which were too close to the explosion site caught on fire and were destroyed in its aftermath. Irate locals also blocked some roads in the area, said Dhrubojyoti Dey, deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate. He said two personnel of Naihati police station were injured as protesters manhandled them.
Last week, four persons, including two women, were killed in an explosion at a fireworks manufacturing factory in the area, following which police started raiding illegal units and seized a huge cache of firecrackers.
(with PTI inputs)