A firecracker show as part of a religious festival in Odisha’s Puri pilgrim town turned fatal with reports of three deaths and injuries to several others in the fire mishap.

The mishap occurred on Wednesday night during the observance of the ‘chapa khela’, water sport festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings. The festival concludes with a firecracker show. The spark from a firework fell on the stored firecrackers which exploded, leading to the mishap, police said.

”The impact of the explosion was powerful. We were terrified. Initially, we took it as a bomb blast triggered by lawbreakers. All ran helter-skelter. The area was jam-packed with people. Many were also injured in the stampede that ensued,” said Harish Mohanty, an eyewitness.

So far three deaths have been confirmed. While a minor boy succumbed to injuries last night, two of the ill-fated victims died on Thursday at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar. At least 20 other injured were undergoing treatment in hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, the police said. Health condition of at least 4 to 5 people is critical as they sustained above 90 per cent burn injuries, said an official.

2024-05-30T05:50:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd