Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Dec 31:

A United States Air Force (USAF) infrared (IR) flare, found under mysterious circumstances in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, today exploded and injured three locals including a woman and her two children.


According to reports, the woman found the flare in a jungle near Mankadpada and Chemchata villages under Kaptipada Tehsil in Mayurbhanj district – where she had been to collect wood.

The incident occurred after the woman picked it up considering it to be toy and handed it over to her children to play with after coming home.

All three suffered burn injuries in their hands and legs following the blast and have been admitted to Udala hospital for treatment.

Local police have started an enquiry into the incident, said Kaptipada ASI Rabi Narayan Suar.

It may be mentioned here that the discovery of USAF IR flares under mysterious circumstances are nothing new in and around the area in recent past.

At least two such flares were discovered from Madheisahi village under Berhampur panchayat in Nilagiri block of Balasore and Chitroda village under Morada block in Mayurbhanj district on November 24 and 21 respectively.

The State Government or the police have not been able to pin down on the source of these flares.

A flare is an aerial infrared countermeasure used by a plane or helicopter to counter an infrared homing surface-to-air missile or air-to-air missile. Flares are commonly composed of a pyrotechnic composition based on magnesium or another hot-burning metal, with burning temperature equal to or hotter than engine exhaust. The aim is to make the infrared-guided missile seek out the heat signature from the flare rather than the aircraft’s engines.