ROURKELA: A massive explosion in a house, where explosive substances were stored illegally, claimed one life and critically injured two others including a child at Telugupara of Madhusudanpali slum under Plant Site police limits here on Monday afternoon.Several houses were also damaged in the explosion. It is suspected the explosives were meant for manufacturing fire crackers. The explosion took place on the first floor of a two-storey house owned by Jawahar Srivastav at 12.15 pm. Under its impact, the concrete roof of the building was ripped apart and the flying debris severely damaged asbestos roofs of at least 30 adjoining houses.
According to reports, Jawahar’s daughter-in-law Rekha (25) died on the spot, while his another daughter-in-law Dolly (35) was shifted to Burla in a critical condition. A five-year-old child in the slum was seriously injured when debris fell on her and she was admitted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Rourkela SP Uma Shankar Dash said a case has been registered and remnants of the explosive substances were collected for scientific examination. Police DIG (western range) Kabita Jalan also visited the spot and took stock of the situation. Zone-II DSP PK Mishra said there was a small explosion followed by the massive explosion. Police and fire brigade personnel started rescue operation and ensured that no explosive materials were left at the spot. Mishra said loss of life was limited as occupants of the damaged houses were away attending Biswakarma Puja.
Deputy Fire Safety Officer Binod Kumar Singh said they rescued Dolly Srivastava (35) trapped under the debris of the staircase. From chemical smell, it appeared that explosives like potassium nitrate and sulphur were stored, he added. On February 2, 2015, a businessman Ghamanlal Agarwal and another person were killed following a massive explosion from industrial explosives stored at the former’s house at Bisradahar Lane under Uditnagar police limits.