Uttar Pradesh India
Uttar Pradesh India

LUCKNOW, INDIA - Police say an explosion at a fireworks factory in northern India has killed at least eight people and injured three others, as Hindus prepare to celebrate the highly popular Diwali festival early next month.

Police officer Ashok Kumar says the explosion occurred Friday in the factory in Budaun district in Uttar Pradesh state.

He says the blast killed six workers and two people who were passing by. The three injured people were hospitalized.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blast.

The area is about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the state capital.

India has a huge demand for firecrackers, which are used in religious festivals and weddings.

Accidental explosions are common at fireworks factories, which often ignore safety standards.