Cop killed in blast while disposing of seized firecrackers in Cuttack

The incident took place when Mallick along with two other constables was disposing of the firecrackers on the banks of the river.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CUTTACK: A police havildar was killed in an explosion during disposal of seized firecrackers on the banks of Kathajodi river near Gopalpur Badhei Sahi within Cuttack Sadar police limits on Friday.

The deceased was identified as 45-year-old Pradip Mallick, a resident of Jagatpur. He was posted in Sadar police station under Cuttack Urban Police District (UPD). The incident took place when Mallick along with two other constables was disposing of the firecrackers on the banks of the river.

Additional DCP, Cuttack Anil Mishra attributed the incident to non-adherence of standard operating procedure (SOP) while handling the firecrackers. “Initial investigation suggests Mallick was standing too close to the pit where the firecrackers were dumped and set them ablaze with the help of a sparkler. He sustained serious injuries after the crackers exploded, and succumbed. The two constables who accompanied him escaped narrowly as they were standing at a distance,” Mishra told TNIE.

Sources said Mallick had received training on disposing explosive materials like bombs and firecrackers. However, prima facie it appears, he was not very careful in following the SOP. He also did not maintain a safe distance and was injured when some firecrackers split off.

Mallick was standing just 2 ft away from the pit and had also not put on any safety gear while destroying the firecrackers, they said.

Police said the personnel engaged in diffusing bombs have to wear safety suits but it is not mandatory for those disposing firecrackers. “A case of unnatural death was registered and further investigation is underway,” said an officer of Sadar police station.

The firecrackers were seized during Diwali last year. They were stored in an abandoned room on Sadar police station premises, sources said.

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