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7 dead, 23 hurt in Nagaland gun shop blast

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Feb 25 � An explosion in a gun shop left seven dead, including two minors, and 23 others injured at Tsumang colony in Wokha town on Tuesday. The condition of three of the injured is stated to be critical, sources on Wednesday said.

Among the injured, four were uniformed personnel that included one fireman, two 7th NAP personnel and one Wokha police personnel.

The explosion set fire to the building that housed the gun shop, M/s General Merchant and Arms & Ammunition Dealers, Wokha, and triggered explosion to four to five LPG cylinders. The raging inferno, which started at around 11. 30 am. spread to two nearby buildings and adjoining shops. It also shattered window panes of other buildings.

Four fire tenders were pressed into service and the blaze was doused at 6.30 pm. Besides the fire personnel, home guard, 17 Assam Rifles, private water carriers and public assisted in dousing the flames.

The bodies were recovered by home guard and civil defence personnel.

Four of the bodies were recovered from the site while the charred bodies of three others could not be identified.

A Bomb Disposal and Dismantling Squad (BDDS) arrived from Kohima and have begun investigation.

Police sources said the explosion is believed to be an accidental one and was caused either from a bunch of gelatin sticks or from other type of explosives which might have been kept inside the licensed arms shop.

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has expressed profound grief over the loss of seven precious lives and injury to 23 others in the explosion

Expressing concern over the nature and cause of the explosion that caused huge casualties, the Chief Minister directed the competent authority to thoroughly investigate the matter so as to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.

He also conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families and wished speedy recovery of those injured. He also asked the Wokha district administration and other government agencies to provide all assistance to the families of the deceased and the injured.

Home Minister Y Patton has expressed shock over the incident and said a probe would enable the State Government to make an assessment to do the needful.

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