As many as 13 people were killed and over a dozen injured, some seriously, in a blast at a carpet factory in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi district, about 250 kilometres from here on Saturday.
According to the police sources here, a majority of the deceased were workers at the factory and hailed from West Bengal.
The death toll could go up as some of the injured were stated to be critical, sources said.
Police suspected that the factory owner also illegally operated a cracker manufacturing unit at the building. ''The blast occurred at the cracker unit,'' said a senior police official in Bhadohi.
The severity of the blast could be gauged from the fact that several earby houses were also impacted by the same, sources said.
Parts of human bodies were scattered over a large area near the blast site, police said adding that rescue operations were launched to ascertain if there were any survivors in the debris.
The injured were admitted to the district hospital while serious ones were referred to Varanasi. The condition of at least three of the injured was stated to be critical, police said.
Bhadohi is an important centre of woollen carpets. The locals usually set up the carpet manufacturing units inside their homes.