Tragedy Strikes Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra Festival: Firecracker Explosion Claims Lives

A tragic explosion occurred during the Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra festival in Odisha’s Puri, resulting in three deaths and 33 injuries. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered an administrative inquiry and declared ex gratia payments for the victims' families. The incident is under investigation, and several officials are overseeing medical treatments for the injured.

PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: 30-05-2024 18:18 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 18:18 IST
Tragedy Strikes Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra Festival: Firecracker Explosion Claims Lives
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At least three persons, including a minor, died and 33 others were injured after a stockpile of firecrackers exploded during Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra festival in Odisha's Puri, police said on Thursday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered an administrative-level inquiry into the firecracker explosion that occurred on Wednesday night and announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased.

According to a statement issued by the chief minister's office (CMO), the inquiry will be conducted by the Revenue and Disaster Management Department's additional chief secretary, who is also the special relief commissioner.

''One boy succumbed to his injuries at SCB Medical College in Cuttack and two others died while undergoing treatment in private hospitals in Bhubaneswar,'' a senior officer said. Hundreds of people had gathered on the banks of Narendra Pushkarinee, a water body, to witness the rituals of Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra and some devotees were celebrating the festival by bursting firecrackers. Suddenly, a splinter from the burning crackers struck the stockpile, leading to the explosion, Puri Superintendent of Police Pinak Mishra said. The chief minister visited a private hospital here to meet the injured persons on Thursday morning.

He talked to doctors of the health facility and advised them to provide the best treatment to the injured persons who are undergoing treatment there. Later, the chief minister wished speedy recovery of the injured and met their family members. Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Khurda Collector Chanchal Rana and Health Secretary Shalini Pandit visited various hospitals late Wednesday night to supervise the treatment of the injured people.

''Of 36 patients admitted to various hospitals, six have been discharged after treatment, three declared dead and 27 under treatment,'' Jena said on X.

The injured people were admitted to nine private and government hospitals in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, the health secretary said.

"Several teams of doctors are trying their best to save the lives of the injured people. As the first 48-hour period is critical for such cases, we are monitoring their health condition," Pandit told reporters this morning.

She said the state government is bearing the treatment cost of all those injured in the accident.

"We have received eight patients from Puri. Of them, one was brought dead, two others had 100 per cent burn injuries and another was admitted with 65 per cent burn injuries. They are under treatment at the plastic surgery department. The four other patients have minor burn injuries and are admitted to the general surgery ward," SCB Medical College and Hospital Superintendent Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra said. The Puri superintendent of police said, ''We have registered a suo-motu criminal case and an investigation is underway. We have collected scientific and physical evidence from the spot.'' During Lord Jagannath's Chandan Jatra festival, the firecrackers were burst without any permission from the authorities, he said.

''Whoever is found guilty, legal action will be taken against him,'' the Puri SP said. Puri collector Siddharth Shankar Swain said that the person, who was bursting the firecrackers at the festival, was also seriously injured and undergoing treatment in the ICU of a hospital.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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