A huge explosion brought down an entire police station in Odisha late on Monday night. The incident has been reported from Balanga Police Station in Puri district.
As per sources, a large cache of explosives seized from a raid and kept inside the Malkhana of the police station building reportedly went off triggering the detonation.
The explosion was so powerful that the entire office building was reduced to rubble while almost all the office items, documents, electronics and mobile tower were completely destroyed in the fire.
Sources said the Sentry of the Malkhana in the police station Saroj Behera narrowly escaped the blast as he sped out of the building before the explosion shattered the building.
Fortunately, other personnel of the police station were also not present at the spot due to deployment on poll duty for the by-election in Pipili Assembly constituency. The blast triggered panic in the area as locals rushed out of their houses fearing any mishap.
The residents of the town have expressed shock at the incident and questioned the role of the police for keeping such a large quantity of explosives inside the police station situated in the middle of the densely populated region.
Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and other senior officials of the district police immediately reached the police station and conducted an inspection at the blast site. Meanwhile, the exact circumstances believed to have triggered the explosion is being investigated.
Central Range IG Narasingha Bhol also reviewed the blast site today. Puri Additional SP P Pradhan has been given the responsibility to investigate the incident and submit a report by this evening. A forensic team and bomb disposal squad also conducted a site assessment to ascertain the exact reason behind the explosion and the extent of the blast.
"If any police personnel are found responsible for the incident, stringent action will be taken against the culprit(s). Investigation is necessitated to find out what the case on the source of the explosives is and who was in charge of the case. All police station authorities in the range have been instructed to ensure that no trace of any explosives are kept in the office premises in any manner," said Bhol.
The Police IG further informed that the Director-General of Police will soon be recommended for a new building of Balanga Police Station.