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Seven killed, scores injured in crackers related incidents on Diwali


Press Trust of India New Delhi
At least seven people were killed and scores of others injured across the country in fireworks related incidents, including gutting of houses and shops, on Diwali, though the decline in such casualties continued in the national capital.
It was a busy night for the firefighters with the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) alone responding to over 300 calls, including fires at garbage dumps due to bursting crackers, officials said on Monday.
Hundreds of patients with burns, eye injuries and breathing problems were attended to by hospitals in the country. According to Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur, 498 such patients arrived in its OPD department out of which 142 were admitted and 108 were emergency cases.
As many as 31 patients have been treated for burn injuries sustained while bursting crackers at the Kilpauk Government Medical College Hospital in Chennai. Among them was a young man whose thumb and index finger were partially amputated.
Diwali revelry took a tragic turn in Kolkata when a five-year-old boy, Adi Das of Haridevpur area, and 40-year-old Deep Kumar Koley of Kasba died when they were hit on the neck by fragments of clay flowerpot crackers in separate incidents, police said.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the child was not lighting the firework and was only passing by with one of his relatives when the explosion took place and he was hit by the shrapnel.
Koley, on the other hand, was himself lighting the firework, a police officer said.
Three persons were charred to death in a fire at a crackers shop in Chhattisgarh's Kondagaon district, police said.
The mishap took place in Kashi Sen's shop in Makdi village late Sunday night, a local police official said. The dead were identified as Sen and his two friends, Balram Netam and Shivlal Shrimali, who had pitched in to help him due to heavy rush of customers and had stayed at shop after it closed.
In Odisha, a person was hacked to death in Bhubaneswar allegedly for bursting fireworks while another person was charred to death in Keonjhar district in a blaze triggered by firecrackers on Sunday night

"Amaresh Nayak and his friends were bursting firecrackers at Sundarpada area in Bhubaneswar when a group of youngsters prevented them from doing so.
"The altercation snowballed into a clash and Nayak was critically injured in the incident. Doctors at a hospital declared him brought dead," a police official said.
Sukhadev Monda, a government employee, was charred to death after his house caught fire due to firecrackers that landed on his house.
Four children were injured while burning firecrackers in Bhadrak district in the state while a youth was wounded in Sundargarh district.
But major hospitals in the national capital reported lesser number of injuries this Diwali than the previous years, as has been the trend since 2017 when the Supreme Court imposed restrictions on sale of firecrackers.
Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, which has the largest burn unit in the country, received 62 patients who had suffered Diwali festivities related burn injuries out of which 11 patients were admitted.
The RML Hospital received 22 cases. All of them had suffered minor burns due to bursting of the crackers. None of the patients had to be admitted. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) received only two burn injury cases related to Diwali last night and there were no admissions, a senior official said.
Due to pollution concerns, there is a Supreme Court-enforced two-hour window for bursting of firecrackers. Only green firecrackers, which have 30 per cent less emissions, can be burnt.
Bomb disposal squads and fire department personnel were scrambled after several boxes of crackers dumped on a vacant plot in Punjab's Jalandhar exploded, shattering window panes and triggering panic among residents on Diwali night, police said.
Eyewitness told police that pellet-like things scattered in the air after the explosions.
A police investigation has ruled out the possibility of any terror angle.
At least five shops were gutted when a fire broke out in a market area in Maharashtra's Sangli city, a fire brigade official said, adding no casualty was reported.
Four to five fire tenders were pressed into service and they took around two hours to douse the flames, he said.
"It is not yet clear whether the blaze was caused due to fire crackers," the official said.
In Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, at least seven persons were injured when two rival groups opened over a dispute on burning crackers, police said on Monday.

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First Published: Oct 28 2019 | 5:35 PM IST

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