Five persons were killed and 15 others injured, when a powerful blast ripped apart a firecracker manufacturing unit in Mauiama in Allahabad district on Wednesday.

The crackers were being made illegally without the requisite licence. According to the police, the licensee was given permission for the sale of fire crackers but not their manufacture.

The incident occurred in Azampur Pashchimi village under Mauiama police station area of Allahabad. ADGP (Law and Order) Subesh Kumar Singh told journalists here that the blast took place while firecrackers were being put together.

Mr. Singh said the roof of the house which served as the illegal unit caved in.

Twenty persons who were buried under debris were retrieved by the police and the local people. The deceased included three women.