At least two people were killed and several were injured in an explosion in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district on Saturday, reports said.
A tractor-trailer exploded around 4.30 pm during a religious procession near Daleke village, 10 km from the town of Tarn Taran, Hindustan Times reported. According to initial reports, the tractor was carrying firecrackers and chemicals. The procession was on its way from Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh in Pahuwind village to Gurdwara Tahla Sahib at Chabba village on the Tarn Taran-Amritsar road. “The procession had just reached Daleke when the blast took place in a trailer of a tractor in which a chemical was stored,” a villager identified as Manjinder Singh told the newspaper.
Senior Superintendent of Police Dhruv Dahiya initially told ANI that according to eyewitnesses “14-15 individuals died on spot”, and three were admitted to hospital in critical condition. However, most media reports put the toll at two. According to The Tribune, three people were killed in the blast and 20 were injured. Two of those killed were identified by Hindustan Times as Gurpreet Singh and Manpreet Singh.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in a tweet, said two people died and nine were injured. He expressed sadness at the incident. “My government will give ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of deceased and free treatment for the injured,” he added. “SDM Tarn Taran will probe the incident to fix responsibility.”
Corrections and clarifications: The headline has been edited to mention the correct toll. Initial reports, including comments by the police, said at least 14 people were killed in the incident. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh later tweeted that at least two people died.