A massive explosion inside the Balanga police station in Odisha’s Puri district last night damaged the building severely, the police said Tuesday.
A portion of the roof and walls of the police station building caved in due to the high intensity blast.
There were cracks all along the wall of the police station building.
“There was no casualty though a policeman was present in the police station when the explosion occurred,” said Pipili Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Debabrata Baral.
Fortunately, other police personnel were not present as they were out on by-election duty in Pipili Assembly constituency where polling is scheduled to take place on September 30.
While the exact reason behind the explosion is yet to be ascertained, based on the preliminary inquiry the police suspect explosive materials seized earlier and stored at the ‘Malkhana’ (store) inside the police station may have triggered the explosion.
Saroj Behera, a sentry, who was present during the mishap, said he ran away from the place as soon as he heard a loud blast and survived. ‘I left the place before a portion of the building was blown up,’ he said.
Many documents including computers, furniture and other materials in the police station were damaged. and items were also destroyed in the fire.
Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and other senior police officials reached the spot and took stock of the situation. A scientific team has been engaged to inquire into the incident, the police said.
The blast triggered panic in the area. Local residents have started asking why huge quantity of explosive materials was stored in the police station located at heart of Balanga town.
Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and other senior officials of the district police immediately reached the police station and conducted an inspection at the blast site.