Himansu Shekhar Rout

Over 20 devotees sustained burn injuries after crackers exploded during ‘Chapa Khela' of the Trinity in Narendra pond as part of Chandan Yatra in Puri on Wednesday. The condition of some injured persons is stated to be critical. 

Sources said, there was provision of cracker bursting on the occasion on the Devi ghat side of the pond. Sparkles from exploded crackers fell on devotees who had gathered there to watch the water sports in the holy pond.

All the injured were admitted to the district headquarters hospital. The condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical. 

Initially, patients were taken to the outdoor department and later shifted to the surgery ward. However, the hospital lacks a burn unit. 

Amid a crying crowd, an eyewitness said, ”Condition of about six people is critical. A hand of a child was badly burnt.”

Another local said,"There was no fire safety measure in place for firecracker bursting. We have rescued some people from the pond."   

Locals alleged that due to a lack of doctors, the hospital authorities have referred to some hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

It was learnt that over 18 critical patients were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. 

The Puri SP and Collector visited the hospital. 

Puri SP Pinak Mishra said,”Our first priority is shifting the patients to hospital. Patients are being shifted and the burn unit of SCB has been contacted for treatment.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the incident. Taking to his X handle, he wrote, "Sorry to hear about the accident near Puri Narendra pond. The Chief Secretary and the district administration have been directed to ensure proper treatment of the injured and monitor their treatment. All the medical expenses of the injured will be borne from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Wishing everyone's speedy recovery."



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