One killed in Rourkela explosion

A 30-year-old woman died following an explosion at Madhusudanpalli adjacent to the Railway Colony here on Monday.

By Rajesh Mohanty
  • Published 18.09.18
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The explosion site at Madhusudanpalli near the Railway Colony in Rourkela on Monday. Picture by Uttam Kumar Pal

Rourkela: A 30-year-old woman died following an explosion at Madhusudanpalli adjacent to the Railway Colony here on Monday.

One person was seriously injured while several houses got damaged in the blast. Police suspected that firecrackers could have caused the explosion.

The deceased was identified Rekha Shrivastav, 30.

The explosion took place in the house of one Jawaharlal Srivastav, who stays along with his younger brother, Durga, at Telugu Basti of Madhusudanpalli. Rekha was Durga's wife.

Jawahar's 35-year-old wife, Jolly, has been admitted to hospital with serious burn injuries. She was shifted to Ispat General Hospital and later to Veer Surendra Sai Medical College and Hospital at Burla after her condition deteriorated.

The narrow lanes of the area prevented fire brigade personnel to reach the spot with equipment. In the afternoon, Rekha was found under the debris and was pulled out by the fire personnel. She had suffered burns and bruises and was shifted to Rourkela Government Hospital. Later, she died at the hospital.

Eyewitnesses said the impact of the explosion was so high that nearly 15 nearby houses were completely damaged, including the goods kept inside. Several people have suffered injuries. The asbestos roofs of the affected houses have been blown away. The impact of the blast was felt even 50 metres away from the site.

After the explosion, there were smells of chemicals such as sulphur and phosphorous, profusely used in making of firecrackers, especially kumpi or anar. Besides, many small earthen pots were found lying inside Jawahar's house. Jawahar owns a puja item shop at Daily Market and also sells crackers during Diwali. His neighbours said he was preparing kumpi to sell at his shop.

Deputy superintendent of police Pradyumna Mishra said: "The explosion was not due to gas leak. Our scientific team will visit the place and ascertain its cause."

Deputy fire officer Binod Kumar Singh said it was a big explosion.

A scientific team expert, on condition of anonymity, said: "This is due to gun powders kept in the house to make crackers."