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Owners of firecrackers unit hit by blast and fire in Harda town arrested

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Harda Factory Blast

Harda/Bhopal: Two owners of the firecrackers factory in Madhya Pradesh's Harda town, where an explosion and subsequent blaze killed 11 people and injured 174 others, were arrested by the police on Tuesday evening, hours after the tragic incident, officials said.

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They were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, among other charges, after an FIR was filed against them, they said.

Another person was detained in connection with the incident that occurred earlier in the day in the Bairagarh locality on Magardha Road on the outskirts of Harda town, approximately 150km from the state capital, Bhopal.

The two factory owners -- identified as Rajesh Agrawal and Somesh Agrawal -- were arrested from Sarangpur in Rajgarh district, while one more person named Rafiq Khan was detained in the evening, Harda Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Kanchan told reporters.

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These accused were booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), he said.

Khan was detained for questioning, the SP said without providing further details about him.

However, police sources said Khan is said to be the manager of the factory.

The cause of the explosion was not yet known, officials said earlier.

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