Five people of a family of ragpickers were killed and at least six others injured in a blast in a scrap heap in Meerut, western Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday afternoon.
Police said the blast occurred when the ragpickers were trying to extract metal from a live mortar shell in the Asiyananagar locality, inhabited mostly by Bangladeshi migrants. They have also recovered seven live bombs that are being defused by the bomb disposal squad.
The recovery of live mortar shells is surprising since there is no artillery range in the city. Also, very little copper and iron can be extracted from mortar shells, which are sold by ragpickers to junk dealers for meager sums.
This was not a terror attack, according to the police.