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Locals demand removal of debris from the site of devastated Harda firecracker unit in MP

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Harda, Feb 10 (PTI) Nearly 100 persons living around the blast-and-blaze-hit firecracker factory in Madhya Pradesh’s Harda on Saturday blocked a road in its vicinity for an hour demanding that the debris at the devastated unit be removed forthwith.

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Thirteen persons have died so far and more than 200 injured after an explosion and subsequent fire flattened the firecracker factory on Tuesday.

The locals complained of an overpowering stench in the area due to the chemical-laced debris.

They also demanded that two more firecracker factories of the accused Rajesh Agrawal, who is in judicial custody, that had been sealed off on the outskirts of Harda city be permanently closed.

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The locals sought that the house of the accused, located near the vegetable market in the heart of the city, should be attached and a firecracker shop run by him on its ground floor be dismantled.

The protesters ended their sit-in near the unit on Magadi road in ward number 31 of Harda Municipality, just 2 km off the district headquarters, after the area Sub Divisional Magistrate K C Parthe assured them that their demands would be met in three days, a protester told PTI.

Of those who had suffered injuries in the accident, 90 were discharged after treatment, while 45 have been referred to hospitals in Bhopal, Indore and Narmadapuram, an official earlier said. The rest are being treated in the Harda district hospital.

The government has constituted a three-member committee headed by Principal Secretary (Home) Sanjay Dubey to conduct a detailed probe into the explosion. PTI COR LAL NR

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