Cassian Baliarsingh

Just two days after a firecracker mishap during an immersion ceremony in Kendrapara left as many as 40 people injured, an under-treatment patient succumbed to the burn injuries late Friday night.

The deceased has been identified as Uday Bhoi. He was under treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

On the other hand, many are still battling for their lives. Five of them are critical in SCB Medical’s Burn ICU, two in Central ICU, 3 in the ICU while another 23 are undergoing treatment in the ward.

Meanwhile, swinging into action, the Sadar police has arrested three persons in connection with the tragedy. The three have been identified as Bulu Mallik, Arakhita Mallik and Chilu Dash. The accused were booked under IPC 286, 337, 338, 109 and were produced before the court.

A case has also been registered as per firework and loudspeaker Act-5 and Explosives Act-3 & 5. The three accused are members of different puja committees.

On the other hand, Sadar police took suo-moto cognisance of the matter and registered cases against many other puja committee members.

Speaking to OTV, Public Prosecutor Niranjan Bal said, “They stored explosives and other firecrackers without prior permission. They have been booked under Explosives Act – 3 & 5. They can get jail-term up to 10 years or maybe life-term. Their little negligence has put in danger the lives of many. Strict action should be taken against them.”

On the other hand, Debaki Das, wife of one of the accused Chilu Das alleged, “My husband was sleeping after returning from work. He was not present at the spot during the incident. He has not gone to the immersion ceremony. Police is framing him now.”

When contacted, SDPO, Jayant Mahapatra informed that there will be many other arrests soon.

Worth mentioning, at least 40 people were injured following a firecracker mishap in the middle of a crowd celebrating an immersion ceremony of Lord Kartikeswar at Balia Bazaar in Odisha’s Kendrapara.

As many as 33 injured were initially admitted to Kendrapara District Headquarters Hospital (DHH). After preliminary treatment, they were shifted to Cuttack SCB Medical College and Hospital after their condition worsened.