Gaya (Bihar): Three persons, all members of the same family, were killed while three others were grievously injured on Wednesday in Gaya district of Bihar where an Army mortar shell overshot the firing range and crashed into a village nearby.
Gaya Superintendent of Police Ashish Bharti said the incident took place in Gularved village of Barachatti police station area in the early hours of the day.
“A police team is camping at the site, where the explosion has left a crater on the ground. Further investigations are on”, he said.
The deceased include a young couple Suraj Kumar and Kanchan Kumari, besides a close relative Govind Manjhi. Kanchan had come to her brother’s home, along with her husband, to celebrate Holi.
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“We were all busy gathering our utensils and other items inside the courtyard for preparing pooris and malpuas. Suddenly there was a deafening sound and the ground shook,” recalled Manju Devi, Kanchan’s sister-in-law.
A villager who speaks only in Magahi, the local dialect, Manju Devi appeared to be in a daze as she recounted the horror, staring blankly at prying journalists.
“I could not understand anything for some time. Then somebody shouted ‘gola gira hai’ (a mortar shell has dropped). I saw many of my near and dear ones lying on the ground, writhing in pain,” she said.
According to the SP, altogether six people got wounded in the explosion and three of them succumbed at Anugraha Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital in Gaya town.
Three other family members, Gita Kumari, Rasho Devi and Pintu Manjhi, are battling for their lives at the hospital.
The village is situated a few hundred meters away from the Army firing range.
“We have been habituated to the sounds of these shots being fired. We never had any idea what these were about and where these loud bangs came from. After today’s incident we may end up living in fear,” said Manju Devi.