Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nilagiri, Nov 24:
People in a remote village in Odisha’s Balasore district were a panicked lot after a suspicious object was found in a paddy field today.
According to reports, locals spotted a wooden plank in a field at Madheisahi village under Berhampur panchayat in Nilagiri block in the district. The villagers ran helter-skelter after they found “WARNING USAF IR FLARE EXPLOSIVE/HIGHLY FLAMMABLE” written on the broken piece.
The rumour about the possible explosive device spread like a wildfire following which the local police were alerted.
“We received information from local people regarding an explosive on a paddy field. We are inquiring into the matter. We have asked the villagers to keep calm as the object is not inflammable,” Berhampur police station IIC Gopal Singh said.
The ignorant villagers apprehended trouble as the missile test range is few kilometers away from the hamlet.
“I am amazed how this piece of an aircraft landed up here. Police should seized this and launch an inquiry into this. There isn’t any reason to panic as it is not an explosive device,” Director of Interim Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Dr. Binay Kumar Das clarified.
It may be mentioned here that a similar object was found at Chitroda village under Morada block in Mayurbhanj district three days ago.
Notably, 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.