Odisha Cracker Factory Blast: Toll Rises To 11


Bhubaneswar: The death toll in an explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Odisha’s Balasore district rose to 11 on Thursday with five more persons succumbing to burn injuries, while a police officer was suspended for the tragedy.

The massive explosion at the illegal firecracker factory at Bahabalpur had claimed six lives and left nine persons seriously injured last night. The injured were shifted to the Sriram Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack, officials said.

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Of the nine injured, five with critical burn injuries died during treatment, said Prof. Arun Choudhury, chairman of the medical board which was constituted to ensure a proper treatment of those injured in the cracker factory blast.

The Superintendent of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Prof. (Dr) Shyama Kanungo, said the medical board comprising specialists from different departments, including surgery and plastic surgery, was formed as the condition of those injured in the explosion was highly critical. The four injured, with very high degree of burns, were currently undergoing treatment at the hospital.

In the aftermath of the explosion at the illegal cracker manufacturing unit, Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma has suspended Santosh Behera, the inspector in-charge of the Bahabalpur marine police station, for dereliction of duty.

The explosion took place last evening when firecrackers were being prepared in the illegal factory at Bahabalpur, around 12 km from the district headquarters town of Balasore. The exact cause of the incident would be ascertained after the investigation, the police said.