Eleven people were killed when a fire broke out in a firecracker manufacturing unit-cum-warehouse in Telangana's Warangal Rural district on Wednesday, police said.
Five others were injured in the incident that occurred in the Bhadrakali firecracker unit in Koti Lingala, near Warangal town.
Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari told reporters at the site that four fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames that broke out around noon.
The impact of the series of blasts was such that the entire unit was razed to the ground and nearby houses were also damaged. The bodies were charred beyond recognition.
The blasts triggered panic among residents, who ran for safety. Senior officials of the district administration rushed to the spot and launched rescue and relief operations.
Warangal Rural District Collector M. Haritha said they were trying to find as to how many workers were present in the unit at the time of the blaze.
People in the area said 25 to 30 people were employed in the unit and at the time of the fire and at least 15 to 20 were inside at the time of the fire. Majority of the workers were said to be women.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.
Haritha, who is supervising the rescue and relief operations, said the Revenue Department officials would conduct a probe.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock over the loss of lives. He announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of the deceased.
He said the government would bear the expenses for the treatment of the injured.