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Man killed in shell explosion in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baleswar, Aug 28:

In a tragic incident, a 30-year-old man was killed when a shell fired during a trial by the Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE) of the Ministry of Defence allegedly hit him at the prohibited area of the Chandipur coast in Odisha’s Baleswar district today, police said.

A senior police officer said one Sukumar Dalei (30) of Tundura village under Khantapada police station was killed after he was hit by a shell fired by the Defence team during trial. The deceased had gone to the sea this afternoon when he was allegedly hit by the shell, the officer added.

“We are investigating whether the shell had hit the person accidentally or he died while illegally picking up an unexploded shell,” the official said.

Proof & Experimentals Establishments (PXE) of teh Ministry of Defence at Chandipur tests shells of various caliber at regular intervals.

At least eight persons were killed on July 26, 2002 in an explosion while they were trying to extract metal from an unexploded shell lying on the beach.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had ordered for payment of Rs 3 lakh compensation each to the kin of the eight killed in the incident.

IANS adds:

Autopsy done on the body Friday shows Dalei died on the spot after the splinters hit his left shoulder, inspector-in-charge of Marine police station Chitta Ranjan Nayak told IANS..

The defence unit tests shells of various caliber at regular intervals. Some poor people of the nearby area often enter into the prohibited area risking their lives and collect the exploded and unexploded shells to extract metals.

They eke out a living by selling them in the local market, he said.