Nine persons were killed and eight were injured in an explosion at a brick kiln in Bihar’s Motihari on Friday evening, ANI reported.

The incident took in the Ramgarhwa area of the district. Among those killed was the owner of the brick kiln, Mohammad Ishrar, according to the police.

“The district magistrate and superintendent of police have rushed to the spot,” a statement by the Bihar Police said. “The rescue operation is also on.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the incident.

“Pained by the loss of lives due to a mishap at a brick kiln in Motihari,” the prime minister said in a tweet. “An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakhs from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000.”

Meanwhile, Kumar said that he has instructed officials to ensure proper treatment for those injured. “Wishing them a speedy recovery,” he said, according to ANI.