Udayavni Special

Raj transformer explosion claims 14 lives; Raje orders probe


Team Udayavani, Nov 2, 2017, 9:16 AM IST

Jaipur:  The toll in the transformer explosion in Rajasthan’s Khatulai village rose to 14 today, with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje ordering a high-level probe into the incident. Union Minister and Jaipur Rural MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who visited the affected families today, termed it a “tragic incident” and called for a thorough investigation.

A transformer had exploded in the Khatulai village near Shahpura town of the state yesterday, killing five persons and injuring several others. Medical Superintendent of SMS Hospital, D S Meena, said nine persons, who had sustained severe burn injuries, succumbed while undergoing treatment at the SMS Hospital here late last night.

“Women were performing ‘Bhaat ceremony’ (pre-wedding ritual) when the incident took place. Five persons had died on the spot and 22 others were rushed to the SMS Hospital. Out of the 22, nine more deaths, mostly that of women, were reported late last night. The casualties also include a pregnant lady. Three persons were discharged and ten are undergoing treatment,” DSP Shahpura, Bhag Chand Meena, said today.

Rathore visited Shahpura town to take stock of the situation. He also met with those undergoing treatment at the SMS Hospital and assured them of best medical care. “It is a tragic mishap. Such a thing should not happen to anyone. Blast in a transformer is a matter of concern and all aspects of it should be investigated,” he told reporters.

Governor Kalyan Singh prayed for courage to the bereaved family members who lost their loved ones in the mishap. He also wished for fast recovery of the injured. Jaipur district collector Siddharth Mahajan announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for kin of the deceased. “The Jaipur Vidhyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL) will give Rs 5 lakh to families of deceased and additional Rs 5 lakh will be provided through Chief Minister’s relief fund,” he said.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot called the incident “unfortunate” and said the explosion took place due to non-maintenance of the transformer. “It is a very unfortunate incident and a high-level probe should be ordered to identify the people responsible for the negligence,” he said in a statement. He also accused the BJP-led state government of not acting beyond ordering a probe and announcing compensation.

The Congress leader said the state government should reveal details of the money spent on replacement and maintenance of equipment. Rajasthan BJP president Ashok Parnami also met the injured victims earlier in the day. Meanwhile, villagers and local leaders protested against the electricity department for alleged criminal negligence.

The agitated families also refused to send the bodies for postmortem, until an investigation was ordered and adequate compensation announced.

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