India fireworks factory fire kills more than 40 people, injures scores (VIDEO)

Indian children in New Delhi light fireworks for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on October 26, 2011.

At least 40 people are dead and scores more are injured after a massive blaze ripped through an illegal fireworks factory in southern India, the Associated Press reported.

Reuters reported that most of the dead were workers at the Om Sakthi Fireworks factory in the town of Sivakasi, about 335 miles southwest of Chennai, which is the center of India’s firecracker industry.

"Bodies have been burnt beyond recognition and we are still trying to trace the family members of the victims," senior police officer Najmul Hoda told the Agence France-Presse.

"Some men jumped out of the windows but there were many who tried saving others in the factory and got trapped in the thick smoke.”

Authorities had suspended the factory’s license a day earlier after finding major safety violations, the AP said.

The fire broke out in the warehouses, which were fully stocked for major Hindu festivals in the coming weeks. Hundreds of workers were inside the factory when the fire started, but most managed to escape.

UPI quoted local police as saying this particular factory made “fancy fireworks” that were more dangerous than ordinary firecrackers. 

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