Pradeep Pattanayak

As many as four children sustained severe burn injuries after some abandoned firecrackers accidentally went off at Ganpur under Baghmari police limits in Khorda district on Thursday. 

The identities of the injured children, aged between 10 and 13, are yet to be ascertained. Hearing their frantic cries following the explosion, some villagers rushed to the spot and immediately shifted them to the Khorda district headquarters hospital (DHH). However, when their condition deteriorated, they were shifted to a hospital in Bhubaneswar. 

The incident occurred at the Gandhi park in Ganpur area. Villagers said the park was inaugurated on December 26. The event was attended by the local MLA and Sarpanch, among others. To welcome the guests, firecrackers were burst. However, some unexploded firecrackers were dumped at a place near the park. 

“Today, the four children spotted the abandoned crackers while playing near the park. While they were collecting the crackers, the explosives went off, leaving them seriously injured,” a villager said. 

“All the four children have been severely injured. They were initially taken to the Khorda DHH. However, we had to shift them to a hospital in Bhubaneswar when their condition deteriorated,” another villager said. 
When contacted, doctors at Khorda DHH said the victims suffered burns on legs, hands and other parts of their bodies. 

A pall of gloom descended on the village following the incident. 

The villagers alleged that the incident could have been avoided if the persons in charge of bursting crackers at the Park’s inaugural ceremony had disposed off the unused/unexploded crackers safely.

Now the question remains who should be held responsible for the mishap.