NEW DELHI – One person was killed and two others were injured Friday after an oxygen cylinder exploded at a refilling unit in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.

The explosion took place at an oxygen factory in Dadanagar industrial area in Kanpur city, about 94 km southwest of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

“This morning an explosion took place inside the oxygen refilling factory here. One worker was killed and two others were injured,” a police official in Kanpur said. “The mishap took place during refilling of the cylinders.”

The injured workers were immediately removed to the nearest hospital.

According to officials, the cylinders were being refilled with medical oxygen.

Police have registered a case and ordered an investigation into the mishap.

The blast took place at a time when medical oxygen is in great demand in India. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are reeling under acute oxygen shortage and the government is importing from foreign countries.

India is witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the second wave of the pandemic has caused a shortage of oxygen and essential medicines in the country’s hospitals.

Federal health ministry Friday morning said 386,452 new cases and 3,498 related deaths were registered in the past 24 hours across the country.