DHENKANAL: The death count in the fire mishap at a cracker-making unit in Kansar village under Hindol block touched four on Saturday. While Lochan Amant (55) and his son, Bulu (18) had died on Friday, two other succumbed to injuries in a hospital at Cuttack on Saturday morning. They are Trailoka Amant and Sarbeswar Behera. As many as 25 persons were injured in the mishap and at least 250 families rendered homeless with the fire engulfing over 700 houses.
Sources said Lochan ran a cracker-making unit from his house. The fire started from his house and soon spread to the nearby houses.
District Collector Bishnu Prasad Panda and ADM Babaji Charan Das visited the village and took stock of the situation. Relief materials have been distributed among the victims and revenue staff pressed to assess losses.
Villagers on Saturday demanded extension of free kitchen for another 15 days and provision of houses to them under the Special IAY scheme. They added that even as many of them had asked Lochan not to prepare crackers inside his house, he continued to do so for eight years.
Lochan reportedly did not have a licence to prepare crackers. While villagers alleged that police administration did nothing to stop him, Hindol OIC Birabar Behera passed on the buck to locals by stating that none of the villagers ever complained about Lochan.