Bhubaneswar: Dewali was celebrated across the state with gaiety and fanfare on Saturday amid a series of mishaps. Reports from Paradip aid that a total of 52 houses of the main fishing market at Atharbanki in the port town was reduced to ashes after being hit by a fire cracker. Though no lives were lost, property worth Rs 1.5 crore was destroyed in the biggest ever fire in the history of the town.
The market was closed due to Diwali and most of the fish traders were absent. At around 8 PM people saw fire on top of a thatched house and within no time it spread to other houses. The fire intensified with bursting of LPG cylinders and fuel of boats stored in the shops. CISF personnel and fire tenders from the Port were pressed into service to control the fire. The fish traders have lost the stocks kept for export besides other equipment such as ice crushers and nets. Following the incident, Kujang tehsildar Susant Kishore Mohanty rushed to the spot and assured government assistance to the victims.
Around 500 families depending on fishing were affected in the mishap. Meanwhile, minister Damodar Rout and director of fisheries visited the spot on Sunday and assessed the extent of losses caused by the fire. In another incident, one Prakash Biswal, a shopkeeper was killed in Betali village of Bhadrak district as jars containing petrol that he was selling in his cabin caught fire after being hit by a burning firecracker. Of the injured admitted to different hospitals, the condition of at least 10 was stated to be serious. According to reports, while more than 50 persons sustained burn injuries while bursting crackers in Bhubaneswar, at least 20 were injured in Cuttack.
In the capital city, two private buses charred when they caught fire in Rasulgarh area. Both the vehicles were parked at Rasulgarh when the incident took place. Thirty-five persons injured while bursting crackers during Diwali celebrations in different parts of the state have been admitted to the Cuttack based SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack. The condition of a few injured patients is reported to be critical. Fire was reported from nine places in Cuttack during Diwali celebrations. However, there was no casualty. Fire accidents were also reported from OMP Square, Railway Colony and backyard of Narisangha Sadan in Buxi Bazar, Sutahat and in Gobindpur village under Tangi police station area. A coconut tree in the residential premises of District Magistrate Kishore Kumar Mohanty was gutted.The total loss of property in the city due to fire is stated to be around Rs 50,000.