Two ragpickers — both children — were injured in a low intensity blast in Noida on Friday afternoon. The blast is suspected to be caused by firecrackers or a crude bomb.
The police said some explosive material in a garbage dump exploded around 1 p.m. in Sector 22 Chaura Raghunathpur, opposite Sector 12 Inter College. Superintendent of Police (City) Noida A.K. Tripathi said, “Initial reports suggested that firecrackers caused the blast. They might have exploded under the weight of the garbage. We are investigating.”
The two children, brothers Monu (8) and Golu (5), had accidentally picked up the explosive and were severely injured. Doctors at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, where the two were treated, said they had shrapnel injuries.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Noida, R.K. Chaturvedi said, “We are hoping to get a few leads from the wounds of the victims as no explosive material was found from the site. I have sent a team to Safdarjung Hospital to talk to the doctors.”
Residents and shopkeepers initially thought that it was a flat tyre. “I was at my shop when I heard a bang. I thought a truck must have had a flat tyre. When I came out, I saw a lot of smoke and then rushed to the garbage dump,” said Vikas Sharma, who has a shop that is 20 metres from the blast site.
Locals rushed the two boys to Sumitra Clinic. Later, they were taken to Safdarjung Hospital.
Jagdish Prasad, Medical Superintendent at Safdarjung Hospital, said, “Monu’s right arm was amputated. He also suffered several shrapnel injuries on his face and body.”
Golu is out of danger. Their parents run a food stall close to the site. “I saw my children going through the garbage. Suddenly, I heard a loud sound and then saw them lying near the dump,” said Geeta (30), their mother.