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Two more die in fuel burst
- Dhubri exchanges old stock, compensation sought

Dhubri, July 27: Two more persons died in the kerosene stove burst tragedy in Dhubi district this morning.

Sima Dey, 26, of Ward 7 in Dhubri town and Ashraful Islam, 7, of Jarua Char in the district were among the 13 people who were injured in kerosene stove and lamp explosions in Bongaiaon and Dhubri districts since last night. The wounded had been admitted to Dhubri and Bongaigaon civil hospitals.

Members of Sima’s family said the incident took place in her brother-in-law’s house in Sapatgram. She was immediately shifted to Dhubri civil hospital, from where she was referred to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. Her family members, however, took her to Cooch Behar, where she died in a private nursing home.

Besides Sima, six other persons, of the 13 injured since last night, had received critical wounds and were referred to the GMCH.

So far, four women and a minor have died while 58 people have sustained burn injuries in the kerosene stove explosions in Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts since July 20.

However, there has been no report of any explosion from any part of lower Assam since this morning.

The Dhubri administration has launched a massive drive to collect and seize old stocks of kerosene from residents, hawkers, fair-price shops and co-operatives while the Bongaigaon administration has banned the use and sale of kerosene in the district.

An official source said a fresh consignment of five tankers containing 60,000 litres of blue-coloured kerosene had already arrived and the fuel was being distributed in exchange of old stock from today.

Dhubri deputy director of food and civil supplies Phuleswar Rabha said efforts were being made to collect all the old stock of kerosene distributed since July 20 and fresh kerosene was being given in exchange.

“Within the next two days, all the consumers will receive their quota of kerosene,” he added.

The secretary of Hind Yuvak Sangh, Parshuram Dubey, said barring a few, all the victims were below poverty line and if they did not get compensation, they would not be able to bear the cost of their treatment.

“People have died and suffered because of the negligence of Indian Oil Corporation or the department concerned. So they have to be compensated soon,” he added.

Dubey said the organisations would launch a protest if the administration did not pay the compensation by July 30.

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