Pre-Ch­hath tragedy: 5 die in Sa­mas­tipur as earth caves in

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Front Page - Av­inash Ku­mar av­inash.ku­mar@htlive.com ■

PATNA: Five peo­ple, in­clud­ing two women and a mi­nor, died when a mound of earth caved in while they were dig­ging it to make earthen ovens for the ‘Ch­hath’ fes­ti­val in Bi­har’s Sa­mas­tipur district on Fri­day.

District of­fi­cials said the in­ci­dent hap­pened near Maiya-Pokhra Ghat at Na­jir­pur vil­lage, 83 km north­east of state cap­i­tal Patna, when peo­ple were dig­ging the soil to make earthen ovens to pre­pare prasad for the four-day ‘Ch­hath’ fes­ti­val be­gin­ing on Sun­day. The in­ci­dent left at least 10 peo­ple in­jured, they added.

The of­fi­cials said the bod­ies were handed over to fam­ily mem­bers af­ter the post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion and a case was reg­is­tered in this con­nec­tion un­der sec­tion 174 (un­nat­u­ral death) of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Code at Uji­yarpur po­lice sta­tion of the district. They said 20 peo­ple were trapped un­der the soil and five of them died.

Soon af­ter the in­ci­dent, the lo­cals rushed to the ac­ci­dent site and pulled out some of those trapped un­der the soil, the of­fi­cials said. A JCB ma­chine was also pressed into ser­vice to res­cue the trapped vil­lagers, they added.

Sa­mas­tipur su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice (SP) Harpreet Kaur said the de­ceased had been iden­ti­fied as Runa Devi, 40, Ra­jku­mari

Devi, 55, Lalo Paswan ,50, Shivji Singh ,51, and Amit Ku­mar, 16.

She said that the in­jured were ini­tially at­tended to at Sa­mas­tipur sadar hos­pi­tal and later re­ferred to Darb­hanga Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal (DMCH), about 40 km away for bet­ter treat­ment.

Chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar has an­nounced an ex-gra­tia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the de­ceased.

Mean­while Uji­yarpur MP and state BJP pres­i­dent Nityanand Rai, Sa­mas­tipur District mag­is­trate (DM) Chan­drasekhar Prasad Singh and other of­fi­cial vis­ited the spot and later went to the DMCH to in­quire about the con­di­tion of the in­jured.

Some of the in­jured have been iden­ti­fied as Ramesh Ku­mar, Shankar Paswan, Nitin Ku­mar, Arun Pod­dar, Mith­lesh Ku­mar, Chan­dan Ku­mar, Ra­jiv Ku­mar and Ish­war Thakur.

HT PHOTO

■ Res­cue op­er­a­tion go­ing on at Na­jir­pur vil­lage in Sa­mas­tipur district on Fri­day.

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