Four people died while 36 were injured in a blast at a potato cold store in Sangrur’s Dhuri city Friday afternoon. The store was competely damaged while the roof was blown off in the blast. The blast occurred at the Guru Nanak Cold store located near the Dhuri flyover. Following the incident, teams of National Disaster Response force (NDRF) was called from Bathinda who took out the injured workers out from the debris. A JCB machine was used in recovery operation. Though APS Virk- DC Sangrur has ordered an inquiry in this case, but preliminary information revealed that blast occurred in the pipeline of an air conditioner in the cold store due to which triggered the incident. Those who lost their lives included three daily wagers who had come from Hoshairpur while the other is a Ludhiana-based farmer who came to get his potato stock stored.
Out of the 36 injured, 17 suffered injuries due to blast inside the cold store while 19 others fell sick due to ammonia gas leak out of cold store after the accident. All have been admitted in private as well as Government hospitals, informed the DC. As per the authorities, rescue operations are still undergoing as the administration wanted to be absolutely sure that no one was left beneath the debris. “I have asked the SDM Dhuri to do a complete inquiry in this case and guilty will be punished as per law. We will find the reasons behind this blast. So far we have been able to rescue all the persons trapped inside the cold store,” said Virk. Owner of the store, Harinder Singh, who reached the site, stated that it was an accident.
Late in the evening, Punjab Government announced Rs 1 lakh compensation each for the families of dead and Rs 50,000 each to families of the injured apart from free treatment at Government hospitals.