At least 16 people were killed and several others injured in a blast at an unauthorized firecracker factory in a residential in Batala town in the Gurdaspur district in Punjab on Wednesday.

Dozens are feared trapped after the factory was completely destroyed down in the blast.

Rescue workers rushed to the blast site to pull out bodies from the badly-damaged building. Fire engines are currently at the spot trying to douse the fire.

The cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed his anguish over the loss of lives in the mishap. He said rescue operations are underway with the District Collector and the Senior Superintendent of Police heading the relief efforts.