SRC records statements of Puri firecracker victims’ kin

The second round of questioning by the SRC was meant to ascertain the chain of events that led to the mishap and ways to prevent it in future.
Representational image
Representational image

PURI: Special relief commissioner (SRC) Satyabrat Sahu, as part of an investigation into the Narendra Pokhari firecracker mishap during Bhaunri Yatra, on May 29, recorded the statements of the victims’ families, eyewitnesses, police and Health department officials.

Representational image
SRC launches probe into Puri firecracker explosion

The second round of questioning by the SRC was meant to ascertain the chain of events that led to the mishap and ways to prevent it in future. Sources said almost all those who were questioned on the day alleged police failed to prevent an unauthorised fireworks display during the event. Besides, no announcements were made on loudspeakers to ask devotees to stay alert and no ambulances were stationed in the vicinity. The victims’ families said there was no facility to treat burn injuries at the Jagannath Medical College and Hospital in the town.

At least 30 persons including family members of the victims got their statements recorded. The SRC also visited the mishap site as part of the probe. Around 32 persons including four children sustained burn injuries after a stockpile of firecrackers exploded during the show. The local administration managed to shift all the injured to super-specialty hospitals having burn treatment facilities in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. However, 16 patients died while several returned to Puri after treatment.

It is learnt Puri police have arrested four persons in connection with the mishap and seized huge quantities of materials used to make crackers.

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