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Faridabad: National-level shooter Pushpender Kumar partially loses thumb in freak accident

According to information, 10m air pistol cylinder which Pushpender Kumar was filling with compressed air exploded at a private range in Greenfield

PTI New Delhi Published 05.12.23, 08:45 AM
A shooter taking part in a 10m air pistol event.

A shooter taking part in a 10m air pistol event. Getty Images

A national-level shooter partially lost his left thumb when the 10m air pistol cylinder he was filling with compressed air exploded at a private range in Greenfield, Faridabad.

The incident occurred on Saturday evening.


Pushpender Kumar, a corporal with the Indian Air Force, was training at the shooting range for the National Championships, currently underway in Bhopal when he suffered severe damage to his left thumb, which required immediate hospitalisation.

He is currently admitted to the Indian Army’s R&R hospital here.

A national coach said on condition of anonymity that while Pushpender was filling compressed air into the pistol cylinder from the main cylinder, the incident happened.

Air pistols and air rifles have a sleek gas cylinder attached just below the barrel. When the shooter presses the trigger, the compressed gas in the cylinder is released, which hits a hammer inside the air gun, ejecting the lead pellet.

The air pistol’s cylinder has to be filled after a certain number of shots with the help of a compressor or a portable cylinder.

Earlier, carbon dioxide used to be the preferred gas to fill the cylinders but with advancement in technology, compressed air cylinders, which look like smaller versions of LPG cylinders, are used to fill the air pistol cylinders.

Pushpender belongs to the Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh and, while he has not competed in international meets, he is a senior member of the IAF team.

He had lost his mother nearly a month back. “We are hopeful Pushpender will make 90-95 per cent recovery post surgery,” said the coach.

“Air pistol cylinders have to be replaced after a certain period of time and the gun manufacturers do it for free. Thankfully, Pushpender’s shooting arm is safe.”

The coach added that he had not come across such an incident in his career “though (gun) vendors say such incidents do happen”.

It is not known whether the air pistol was personal or belonged to the Air Force.

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