It was not clear if the factory in the northern state of Punjab was a legal facility or one of the many illegal fireworks factories dotted across the country with lax safety standards (Photo: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images).

A BLAST at a fireworks factory in India on Wednesday (4) killed 14 people, police said, weeks ahead of a Hindu festival marked by the lighting of millions of firecrackers.

It was not clear if the factory in the northern state of Punjab was a legal facility or one of the many illegal fireworks factories dotted across the country with lax safety standards.

“We have recovered 14 dead bodies,” said police officer Mukhtiar Singh.

Videos posted by media showed rescue workers and dozens of people milling around a large collapsed structure.

India marks Diwali, the festival of lights, next month when revellers set off countless fireworks.