LUCKNOW: A multi-pronged probe has been started by the Uttar Pradesh Police into the alleged gas cylinder blast, which triggered of collapse of two attached houses, killing eight members of a family in Gonda district on Tuesday night.
With the rescue teams and police yet to find remains of the exploded gas cylinder from the debris in the congested locality in Wazeerganj area of Gonda district, sniffer dog squad, bomb detection and disposal squad have been pressed into action at the spot. A team of the state police's anti-terrorism squad has also arrived from Ayodhya to investigate the incident.
According to Gonda SP Santosh Mishra, the incident happened at around 10.30 pm in the house of small farmer Noorul Hasan. One of the family members called the Dial 112 service to inform about a gas cylinder blast having triggered the collapse of large portion of the house.
The police team rushed to the spot and rescue operations started in the night only. In all, 15 persons, all from the same family, were taken out of the debris, but while seven had died on spot, while one person succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
The deceased included head of the family Noorul Hassan's three sons, aged 35, 23 and 11 years, his 38-year-old daughter, 37-year-old daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, youngest of them being a 2-year-old boy.
Seven persons injured in the incident, including 60-year-old Noorul Hassan.
"Our first priority was to rescue those trapped in the debris and ensuring their timely treatment. Our other teams, including the sniffer dog squad, bomb detection and disposal squad are now at the spot to speed up investigations into the incident," Gonda SP said.
According to sources, since the affected family hailed from Manihar community (which is skilled in making of firecrackers), the police probe is looking into all possible angles. The ATS too have joined the district police in the investigations.
According to Gonda DM Markandey Shahi, since the family is primarily an agrarian family, they will be eligible for the benefits unde the Farmers Insurance Scheme and the National Family Benefit Scheme.