At least two people lost their lives and nine others were injured in a firecracker explosion during a religious procession in Punjab's Tarn Taran district on Saturday. According to Tarn Taran SSP Dhruv Dahiya, firecrackers were being burnt using explosive material because of which tractor-trolley exploded. Crackers were being fired during kirtan ceremony.
According to a news agency and eyewitnesses reports, the initial death toll was reported around 15 but the incident has claimed lives of two people while injured are being treated in a hospital.
The explosion took place around 4:30 pm when sparks from crackers being burst by people during the 'nagar kirtan' (religious procession) near Pahuwind village landed on a tractor-trolley where the fireworks were stacked, they said.
"Two people have died in the incident," Tarn Taran Senior Superintendent of Police Dhruv Dahiya told PTI over phone.
The deceased have been identified as Manpreet Singh (17) and Gurpreet Singh (12), the police said, adding that the injured were in the age group of 18-20.
In Chandigarh, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial probe into the incident and also announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased and free treatment to the injured admitted in the local civil hospital and the Guru Nanak Dev Charitable Hospital.
The police said the explosion took place when some youngsters were bursting crackers near the Daleke Mor, Palasaur.
"During the nagar kirtan, youths were bursting crackers as part of celebratory fireworks. As they were doing so, the sparks fell on the tractor trolley which was carrying explosive material -- potash and sulphur and firecrackers -- that led to an explosion," Dahiya said.
The tractor-trolley was reduced to a mangled piece of metal due to the impact of the explosion.
The SSP said the religious procession was going from Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh in Pahuwind village to Gurdwara Tahli Sahib in Chattiwind.
The CM also directed the deputy commissioner of Tarn Taran to ensure that the injured get the best possible treatment.
In a statement issued in Chandigarh, Singh also directed the civil and police administration of Tarn Taran district to extend all possible help to the families of the victims.
The SSP of Tarn Taran has been asked to carry out post-mortem proceedings expeditiously so that the bodies could be handed over to their families without delay, the statement said
(With inputs from PTI)
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