MUZAFFARNAGAR: Four people died and as many were injured in an explosion at an illegal firecracker manufacturing factory in Shamli district on Friday evening, officials said.

The factory is located in Kairana town, and at the time of the explosion, 10 workers were present on the premises, Shamli District Magistrate (DM) Jasjit Kaur said.

Four of them died, as many were injured and two escaped unhurt, she said, adding that the injured were rushed to a medical college in Meerut.

However, police had earlier said that 10 people were injured in the explosion.

Soon after the blast, local people and police rushed to the spot and launched a search and rescue operation, the DM said.

She said an excavator machine had to be used to clear the debris.

The deceased were identified as Pappi of Baghpat and Salman, Faeemuddin and Ruman of Bahraich, the officials said.

The district magistrate said an inquiry has been ordered.

The officials said that the factory used to make pickles earlier and had been closed for a while.