Free Press Journal

Nine killed in two blasts at illegal firecracker units in Odisha


Bhubaneswar: At least nine persons, including two minors, were killed and 12 injured in two separate incidents of explosions at illegal firecracker manufacturing units in Odisha on Wednesday, police said.

Eight persons, including a minor, were killed and seven injured in a massive blast at a firecracker manufacturing unit inside a house in Bahabalpur village in Odisha’s Balasore district on Wednesday.

In another incident, a minor girl was killed and four others were critically injured in an explosion while making firecrackers at Bilipada near Pipili in Puri district.

According to police, the blast in Balasore district took place in the house of a person called Golak Pradhan, where firecrackers for Diwali were being made.

Fire service personnel rushed the spot and carried out rescue operations. The administration officials also rushed to the spot to assess the situation.

Confirming the death of eight persons, Chief Fire Officer Sukanta Sethi said the victims have been admitted to district headquarters hospitals and SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

He said the cracker making unit was running illegally in the village.

Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the grievously injured persons.

He said the state government would bear the expenses for treatment of the injured.

The Chief Minister also directed that strong action should be taken against those responsible for the accident.

In the incident in Puri district, the four critically injured persons were admitted to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, but later shifted to AIIMS here after their condition deteriorated.

“Four persons with critical burn injuries were admitted to the hospital. However, they have been shifted to AIIMS as their condition is very critical as 90 per cent of their bodies have been affected,” Capital Hospital director Chittaranjan Das said.