Two brothers were injured in a blast after a shell exploded in an abandoned godown in the Giaspura area on Tuesday morning.
The right leg of Shiv Kumar,14, was ripped apart in the blast, while his brother Vipan, 12, was injured in the head and neck. Both children were rushed to the local civil hospital from where they were referred to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
Police recovered a shell from the spot and suspect that the children were trying to pry it open when the blast occurred.
Focal Point station house officer (SHO) inspector Harjinder Singh said the police suspect the shell could have been part of scrap dumped in the abandoned building.
The blast triggered panic in the area as residents in surrounding buildings rushed out on hearing the explosion. Forensic experts and dog squad reached the spot to check the suspected explosive.
The victims live in labour quarters in the Giaspura area and used to collect scrap to earn money. Police suspect that children might have found a shell from somewhere and took it to the plot to extract metal from it. They were beating the shell with a hammer when it suddenly went off.
The SHO said the shell could have been part of scrap imported from the bay area. Police were yet to record the statement of the injured children.
A case under Sections 286 (Negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against owners of the plot — Gurmeet Singh Bittu and Ajay Soni.
Hospital staff accused of delaying treatment
Father of the injured children Raj Bahadur, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, alleged that the civil hospital staff delayed treatment to his sons. “They wrapped bandages on their wounds only and left. They did not try to stop bleeding,” he said. Later, they were referred to the PGIMER, Chandigarh. Civil hospital senior medical officer Dr Sukhjeevan Kakkar was not available for comments.