Bihar Sharif, Mar 23 (PTI) Five people, including three children and a woman, were killed and 18 injured after an explosion in an illegal firecracker unit in Bihar’s Nalanda district, a senior official said today.Also Read - Bihar, Jharkhand, UP Poorest States In India: NITI Aayog's Poverty Index

The explosion occurred last night at a crowded residential locality here, from where a man used to run an illegal firecracker unit. He used to live in the house as a tenant, said the district magistrate (DM) of Nalanda, Thyagarajan. Also Read - Meet 21-Year-Old Anushka Kumari, Who Has Created History by Becoming The Youngest Mukhiya in Bihar

The blast claimed the lives of the man’s two daughters — one, a month old, and another aged three — and his four-year-old son. The man’s sister and a neighbour were also killed in the explosion. Also Read - Maoists Kill 4 of Family, Hang Their Bodies, Blow Up House in Bihar's Gaya District

Eighteen people suffered injuries, four of whom were in serious condition, the DM said, adding that the seriously injured were taken to the Patna Medical College and Hospital.

A major fire broke out at the house after the explosion since a huge quantity of inflammable material was stored there. The fire could be doused in a few hours, the district magistrate said.

The station house officer (SHO) of Khasganj, Sher Singh Yadav, has been placed under suspension for his failure to check the activity, he said.

An FIR has been registered against the tenant of the house for running an illegal firecracker-manufacturing unit in a densely-populated locality, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.