Three children were killed near an Army shooting range in Arunachal Pradesh after a shell exploded in their hands, police said on Sunday.
Two girls, aged eight and ten, and a two-year-old boy were killed in the blast when they picked up an unexploded shell lying in the firing range on Saturday evening. All three were residents of Chirang village in Anjaw district.
Habung Hailyang, SP of Anjaw, told The Indian Express that villagers often collect used shells and melt them for its aluminium content, and use it for making utensils. “This particular shell was not an old one, but probably a year or two old,” he said.
Hailyang added that he has not heard of any such incident in the area in the past.
Dagbom Riba, the Deputy Commissioner of the district, told The Indian Express, “The children did not understand what they were picking up and explosion suddenly happened. It is very unfortunate.”
Chowna Mein, deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh, tweeted: “Deeply saddened and shocked with the very sad news from Chirang village in Anjaw Dist. Words are not enough to console the grieving families. Our thoughts and prayers with them.”