Four people, including three children, were killed and nine others injured when a balloon-filling cylinder exploded at a local market in Asoda area of Hapur district of western Uttar Pradesh on Friday evening.
Hapur is about 50 kms from Delhi. The incident took place around 530PM at a local weekly market in Asoda, where residents from neighbouring localities had arrived to purchase low-cost items and vegetables.
The balloon-filling cylinder owned by 40-year-old Ameer, who hails from Majidpura in Hapur, developed a snag and exploded with a loud bang.
Senior administration, police and fire department officials reached the spot and the injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.
“The children had arrived to buy the gas-filled balloons from a local vendor. The cylinder that exploded acted as a bomb and critically injured people present within an area of 10-15 metres. Three minors and a 35-year-old woman later succumbed to their injuries as pieces of the cylinder acted as splinters and hit them,” a district administration officer from Hapur said.
The officials identified the victims as Shadab, 5, Soni, 9, Ritik, 7 and Fatima, 35 years. Both Shadab and Soni are cousins.
“Nine other people suffered major injuries due to the splinters. They sustained injuries on their heads, legs and other parts. Four of the nine injured were in a critical condition and rushed to Meerut Medical College. The rest were shifted to a private hospital in Hapur,” the official said.
Hapur district magistrate Ajay Yadav announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the dead and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
“A compensation of Rs 2 lakh each has been announced for the families of the four dead. Another `50,000 has been announced for those who suffered severe injuries. We have made arrangements for the treatment of the victims,” Yadav said.