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Sangrur cracker godown blaze: Death toll reaches five; owners booked, 4 godowns sealed

Four other godowns that the owners run in the same area were also sealed on Wednesday. A forensic laboratory team is also collecting samples. No arrests have been made yet.

punjab Updated: Sep 21, 2017 13:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
Sangrur cracker godown blaze,cracker godown blast,5 dead
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel at the site in Sular-Gharat village in Sangrur on Wednesday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

The death toll in the cracker godown fire at Sular Gharat village in Sangrur reached five on Monday with another body, unidentified as of now, recovered from the rubble on Wednesday. The Dirba police have also booked owners of the godown Pardeep Kumar and Gandhi Ram on Wednesday for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Four other godowns that the owners run in the same area were also sealed on Wednesday. A forensic laboratory team is also collecting samples. No arrests have been made yet.

Four bodies, all of residents of Dhanduri Kalan village, had been recovered on Tuesday night.

“We have recovered a body, the rescue operation is on,” said Dirba DSP Yogesh Kumar. The dead are Gurpayar Singh, 25, Karamjit Singh, 18, Bhupinder Singh, 21, and Gursewak Singh, 19. Avtar Singh from Tranji Khera village is critical and has been admitted at Rajindera Hospital in Patiala.

Govt panel visits spot

A committee led by ADC (general) Upkal Singh, SDM Sunam and DSP Dirba visited the spot and sealed the other godowns nearby. Deputy commissioner APS Virk said the matter was being investigated from all aspects.

“They had received a licence from the Centre and we cannot issue licenses for such big godowns. It had been sealed once by the Centre. We have sealed four godowns of the same owners,” Virk told HT.

Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema also visited the spot and blamed officials.

The owners have been booked under Sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50) of the IPC and 9B of The Explosives Act, 1884 and 3/4 Explosive Substances Act, 1908, at the Dirba police station.

Resident’s house damaged

The blaze damaged the bungalow of Karamjit Singh, who received serious injuries along with his wife and two children. Singh, his wife Gurmeet Kaur, son Gurwinder Singh, 10, and Arashdeep Singh, 13, have been admitted to the Sangrur civil hospital.

“It took 10 years to build this house and the explosion has damaged the building. The family was at home and rushed to the streets. We are ruined,” said Charanjit Kaur, Karamjit Singh’s sister-in–law told HT.

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 13:57 IST