Eight die in cracker factory blast

At least eight people were killed and over a dozen injured in a massive explosion in a cracker factory in Uttar Pradesh, police said on Tuesday.

The tragedy happened overnight in Yakubpur village in Auraiyya district. The explosion was so deadly that it destroyed a series of houses.

Police said the rescue operation went on till early Tuesday and said eight of the injured were in critical condition.

"The seriously injured have been rushed to Kanpur," an official told IANS.

Superintendent of Police (Auraiyya) Sanjay Kakkar told IANS that three constables and a police officer had been suspended for derelection of duty.

Maiku Lal, owner of the cracker manufacturing unit, held a license but he had started producing the crackers from his house, some 250 yards from his unit, Kakkar said.

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