Two killed in Bengal's Jalpaiguri as mortar shell carried by floodwaters explodes
Mortar shell believed to be of military origin, transported by floodwaters from the Sikkim floods, has caused 2 fatalities and left 4 injured in West Bengal
At least two persons were killed and four others injured in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district as a mortar shell, reportedly carried by the floodwaters of Teesta river, exploded, police said on Friday, 6 October.
Police believe that the mortar shell belonged to the Army and was carried by floodwaters flowing down the hills following the cloudburst and flash floods in Sikkim on Wednesday.
Local police sources said the incident took place in Chapadanga village in Kranti block on Thursday when one person took the mortar shell home to sell it as scrap metal and tried to break it open.
"The four injured persons have been admitted to a hospital. A thorough probe has started," a senior police officer said.
"The condition of at least two injured persons is extremely critical and the death toll might increase," he said.
Meanwhile, the Jalpaiguri Police has issued an advisory urging people not to handle any firearms or explosives flowing down the river.
"In light of the severe flooding in Sikkim, certain military equipment including firearms and explosives were carried by the Teesta River. We urge the public to be vigilant and report any unfamiliar objects, crates, packages, firearms or any suspicious items seen floating in the water to the nearest police station immediately.
"Please refrain from handling these items in any manner, as they pose a potential risk of a dangerous explosion," the notice stated.
The Sikkim government has also urged a similar warning, asking people to be careful if they venture into the Teesta River basin as there could be explosives and ammunition lying under the muddy waters.
"These ammunitions should not be handled or picked up inadvertently as they could explode causing grievous injuries," the state Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department said in an advisory.
The local people were directed to bring to the notice of the district administration and related authorities in the event of detection of explosive materials in the river basin.
Published: 06 Oct 2023, 1:02 PM