Eight people died and a dozen were injured in an explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in northern India, police said Tuesday.

The accident occurred Monday night at a home in Yakubpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh where fireworks and other products were being secretly manufactured without the required authorization.

Among the fatalities were six members of the same family.

Police have suspended three officers on grounds of failing in their duty by allowing firecrackers to be manufactured without a permit.

This week tens of millions of Hindus in India and other countries celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, one of the most important on the calendar of Hinduism.

The faithful decorate their homes for the occasion with colored lights similar to those used by Christians on Christmas, take tourist trips and visit family and friends with gifts and trays of dried fruits and candies.

Many Hindus, particularly the younger generations, also launch firecrackers and other fireworks, and each year the authorities ask for moderation to avoid accidents and pollution. EFE