(Photo by Imteyaz Ahmed)

Satish Aditya
Motihari : Three cooks were  killed and  four others critically injured on November 16, 2019, early morning, after a steam boiler exploded at a centralised kitchen room run by an NGO at Bangara under Sugauli police station in East Champaran District in North Bihar to supply mid- day meal (MDM) to government schools. All the injured were admitted to hospitals at Motihari, headquarters of East Champaran District, and PHC Sugauli. The parts of three bodies were sent for autopsy to Sadar Hospital, Motihari.

According to police sources, the deceased identified  by their cloths were: Abhimanyu Kumar of Harsiddhi, Umesh Yadav of
Kotawa, and  Vijay Yadav of  Piprakothi .  Of the four injured, three were identified as Shiva Kant Singh of Sangrampur, Guddu Kumar of Dharmuha, and Navin Kumar of Bariarpur. The fourth injured person is yet to be identified.

According to Raj Kumar Sharma , District Programme Officer(DPO), MDM, an NGO  ‘Nav Prayash  Sanstha’ has been running this centralised kitchen room to supply MDM to 56 Government Primary and Middle schools under Sugauli  block area for the last one month  through contractors : Kanwar Pal and Narendra Singh.

Talking to this scribe, Shiva Kant Singh, an injured cook, said  that the explosion took place around 4.30 am on November 16, 2019, morning, as the boiler burst suddenly. The pieces of boiler and boiling water fell on the cooks busy cooking meal resulting in death of three persons. The wall and roof of the kitchen room were blown away. The severed body parts were seen strewn around with  blood  in kitchen room and outside.

SDM, Motihari, Priy Ranjan Raju, Vinit Kumar, SDPO with other officials, and Sugauli MLA Ram Chandra Sahni were  camping at the site. The officials were not ready to give the casualty figure. East Champaran  SP  Umesh Kumar Sharma,
who visited Sadar Hospital, Motihari,  said  some people  had died and some injured. Actual figures will  be declared  after getting detail report, the SP added. East Champaran DM Raman Kumar could not be contacted on phone.

In fact, 13  cooks were on duty at the time of  explosion, according to injured  Guddu Kumar. Three cooks died while 4 others were injured. Two cooks escaped injury as they were out of the room while remaining four were missing, he said. The angry villagers blocked the  NH28A  road  at Sugauli  after the incident demanding recovery of the missing cooks. SDM Raju got the blockade removed.

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