Two girls were killed and three others were injured when a massive explosion took place in a two-storeyed house in Baluganj area of Agra on Saturday night. The police are suspecting that crackers stored in the house triggered an LPG explosion.
The blast took place in the house of two brothers, Baljit Singh and Manjit Singh around midnight. The entire structure came down. Baljit, his wife Indrajeet Kaur, and three girls were buried in the debris, said the police. Manjeet was in Amritsar when the incident took place.
The explosion was so loud that it was heard in nearby localities. The locals rushed out of their house to find the house razed. Police were called in and rescue operation began with fire brigade reaching the spot.
Two of the girls Simran, 22 and Nikki, 19 – daughters of Manjit – died on the spot while Baljeet, Indrajeet Kaur and their daughter Neha were pulled out of the debris by neighbours. Circle officer Aseem Chaudhary led the rescue operation.
The SP (city), Sameer Saurabh said investigation was on to ascertain the exact reason behind the explosion. "Crackers were found stored in a sack on the first floor of the house. Besides, there was a pipeline connected to gas cylinder,” he said.
“It is yet to be ascertained if there was leakage in the gas cylinder which led to the blast in crackers or it was a blast in the crackers, which ignited fire coupled with leakage in the gas pipeline,” added Saurabh.
Gutiyari Lal Dubesh (Bahujan Samaj Party), MLA from Agra Cantt, demanded a fair probe into the incident. “The family has lost two girls who were brilliant in studies. The state government should award compensation as family is not well off and has lost their house,” he stated.
The family members were in tears after the tragic loss. “Crackers or gas pipeline leakage cannot trigger such a big blast. There should be a fair probe as we suspect ‘external’ hand in the incident,” stated a relative.
Baljeet Singh, the uncle of the deceased girls, forwarded a complaint to the Rakabganj police station on Sunday noon. He alleged that two unidentified bike-borne youths had thrown some explosives on the house, which resulted in the blast.
Singh further stated that his son Harjeet Singh had seen these two youths moving on the motorcycle.
However, the Agra police suspected that bulk crackers stored in the house and gas pipeline leakage were prime reasons for the blast.
Police said the theory of youths throwing explosives could be an ‘after thought’ on part of the complainant to escape possible legal action for storing explosive- materials in the house.
“It is a matter of investigation and contents of the complaint would be investigated into and the FIR would be registered only then,” stated SP (city) Sameer Saurabh.