At least 8 dead in blast at firecracker factory in India

Police say a blast at an unlicensed firecracker factory has killed at least eight workers and injured another 20 in eastern India on Wednesday, a day ahead of Hindu's most popular Diwali festival.

A police officer says the number of casualties is likely to go up as several people are feared trapped under the collapsed building in a town in Balasore district in Orissa state.

Balasore district administrator Pramod Kumar Das says a huge explosion took place Wednesday when firecrackers were being made in a house used as a factory without any legal licence, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Accidental explosions are common at Indian firework factories as owners often ignore safety standards.

Bursting of firecrackers is part of celebrations during festivals and weddings in India.