New Delhi: At least 20 people are feared dead, and close to 53 have been injured after a cylinder explosion at a chemical factory in Dhule district of Maharashtra on Saturday. More than 70 people are still feared trapped under the debris.

The explosion took place around 9:45 AM at a Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) company in Waghadi village in Shirpur. Nearly 100 workers were present inside the factory when the explosion happened.

Six fire brigades rushed to the scene on receiving information. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was also deployed for relief operations. The injured have been taken to nearby hospitals. Rescue efforts are underway.

“Prima facie, multiple cylinders exploded at the factory. At least eight bodies have been recovered by police and rescue teams so far. Rescue operation is on,” said Shirpur police station officer.

Surrounding villages also heard the blast and felt tremors due to the explosion. Authorities on site fear the death toll will rise.

This is a developing story…