CHENNAI (AFP) - At least 33 people were killed in southern India when an explosion turned a temporary firecracker warehouse into an inferno, police said Saturday. They said victims had no time to flee the fast-spreading blaze, which occurred Friday in Tamil Nadu state on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated by people letting off fireworks. We have recovered 33 charred bodies, senior police officer C. Durairaj told AFP. The fire broke out in Pallipattu town, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Tamil Nadu state capital Chennai. Six people injured in the fire were being treated in hospital, Durairaj added. The blaze erupted at a rice mill which had been converted into a firecracker warehouse and a wholesale outlet ahead of the festival season. The explosion was triggered by a firecracker which burst in the congested warehouse and people did not have time to escape, Durairaj said. Fires at warehouses and factories involving firecrackers are common in India because of lax industrial safety standards. Earlier this year, a fire at a fireworks factory in Tamil Nadu killed at least 17 people. Two years ago, 32 people died when a blaze gutted a firecracker factory in the eastern state of Bihar.