PURI: The building housing the Balanga police station in Puri district collapsed late on Monday after a powerful explosion ripped through its malkhana.
Fortunately, the officer-in-charge (OIC) and other personnel were not present in the station. They were away on patrolling duty to ensure the smooth passage of the upcoming Pipili by-poll.
The only sentry constable present at the station escaped unhurt in the blast that took place at about 12.15 am.
According to the police, some firecrackers and explosive materials seized in the past from illegal manufacturers were stored in the malkhana which may have led to the blast though the exact cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.
"Most of the items in the police station were damaged in the accident. Currently, complainants can meet the officers at Mahila and Sishu Desk which is outside the police station building," said Central Range IG, Narasingha Bhol.
Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh, a forensics team and other officers went to the spot to investigate the matter.
Bomb detection and defusing team is also present to ascertain whether any firecrackers and explosive materials are left behind so that they can be removed from the damaged structure.