Three people killed, 33 injured in explosion in a pile of firecrackers in Puri, Odisha

The Uncut

Puri/Bhubaneswar. At least three people, including a minor, were killed and 33 others injured when a heap of firecrackers exploded during the Chandan Yatra festival of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha, police said on Thursday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered an administrative-level inquiry into the firecracker explosion that took place on Wednesday night and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the investigation will be conducted by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department, who is also the Special Relief Commissioner. A senior official said, “One boy died at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, while two others died during treatment at private hospitals in Bhubaneswar.” Puri Superintendent of Police (SP) Pinak Mishra said that the incident took place on Wednesday night when hundreds of people had gathered on the banks of Narendra Pushkarini to witness the ritual. Suddenly a piece of burning firecracker fell into the store, causing an explosion.

The Chief Minister reached a private hospital on Thursday morning to meet the injured. He spoke to the doctors of the hospital and directed them to provide the best treatment to the injured undergoing treatment there. The Chief Minister wished the injured a speedy recovery and met their family members. Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Khurda District Magistrate Chanchal Rana and Health Secretary Shalini Pandit reached different hospitals late Wednesday night to inquire about the treatment of the injured.

“Out of the 36 patients admitted to various hospitals, six were discharged after treatment, three were declared dead and 27 are undergoing treatment,” Jena said on X. The health secretary said the injured were admitted to various private and government hospitals in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Pandit told reporters, “Several teams of doctors are trying their best to save the lives of the injured people. Since the first 48 hours are very crucial in such cases, we are monitoring their health condition.” Puri Superintendent of Police Pinak Mishra said, “We have registered a suo motu criminal case and the investigation is underway. We have collected evidence from the spot.”

He said that firecrackers were burst without the permission of the authorities during the Chandan Yatra festival of Lord Jagannath. Puri SP said, “Legal action will be taken against whoever is found guilty.” Puri District Magistrate Siddharth Shankar Swain said that the person bursting firecrackers during the festival was also seriously injured and is undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.

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