Locals protest near site of blast at explosives unit in Chhattisgarh; claim kin missing | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Locals protest near site of blast at explosives unit in Chhattisgarh; claim kin missing

May 26, 2024 12:17 PM IST

Locals protest near site of blast at explosives unit in Chhattisgarh; claim kin missing

Pirda , A tense situation prevailed on Sunday near the Pirda explosives manufacturing factory blast site in Chhattisgarh as villagers, particularly those who claimed their relatives were missing after the incident, staged a protest.

Locals protest near site of blast at explosives unit in Chhattisgarh; claim kin missing
Locals protest near site of blast at explosives unit in Chhattisgarh; claim kin missing

A large number of police personnel were deployed around the factory premises near Pirda village in Bemetara district and officials were trying to pacify the villagers.

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One person was killed and at least six others were injured in the explosion at the Special Blasts Limited near Pirda village in Berla development block on Saturday, where rescuers had also found some body parts.

Government officials were yet to confirm about the number of missing workers following the incident and said everything will be clear when the huge pile of debris is removed from the blast site.

Some eyewitnesses had told local news channels that at least 100 persons were working in the explosives manufacturing factory when the blast took place. They claimed several persons were missing and feared trapped under the debris.

The explosion at the factory had left a nearly 30-foot-deep crater, officials earlier said.

Rescue operation, involving the State Disaster Response Force, police and district administration officials, resumed on Sunday morning.

People from Borsi, Pirda and other nearby villages set up a tent in front of the factory and staged a sit-in protest.

They obstructed the fire brigade, earth movers and ambulances engaged in the rescue exercise from entering the factory premises.

Amid the protest, the administration allowed members of eight families, who claimed their relatives working in the factory at the time of the blast were missing, to enter the premises, an official here said.

Police and protesters had a heated argument as the security personnel tried to remove the tents where villagers were sitting in protest in front of the factory's gate.

Bemetara Superintendent of Police Ramkrishna Sahu said some factory workers were reported to be missing and feared trapped under the debris after the blast, but as of now "we cannot tell the number as the rescue operation is still underway."

"We have been trying to pacify the protesters," he said.

Of the six injured persons, four were discharged after treatment at a hospital in Raipur, Sahu said.

Another official said the rescue operation was underway with precautions as some gases were leaking from the debris and there was risk of a blast there as explosive materials were buried under the rubble.

The state government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident and said action will be taken against those found guilty.

The kin of the deceased will receive a financial assistance of 5 lakh, while 50,000 each will be given to the injured who will also be provided treatment by the government, it said.

Ishwar Khare, in-charge of a 13-member SDRF team from neighbouring Durg district, on Saturday said, "As per information, a two-storey building collapsed in the blast at the explosives manufacturing factory. Some people might have been trapped under the debris and a search is underway."

The blast has left a 30-40 feet deep crater. Some body parts were found in the debris. After the entire debris is removed, details will be known, he said.

Rajkumar Yadav, a resident of Borsi village adjacent to the factory, said his 20-year-old son, who worked in the unit, was missing after the blast.

Shopkeepers in the area had said the impact of the blast was felt in a radius of about 4 kilometres.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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