SILCHAR: At least five men, including the imam (head) of a mosque were killed, and many others critically injured in multiple blasts at a brick kiln in southern Assam’s Cachar district on Friday.

The incident took place in Lakhipur under the Katigorah assembly constituency, about 28 km from Silchar town, at about 3pm on Friday.

  • Assam: 5 killed, many critical after 'blasts' at Cachar brick kiln

Locals of the area said they heard three back-to-back explosions from the brick kiln after its chimney exploded when the first fire of the season was being set at the kiln – a tradition performed ceremonially every year in the presence of mosque heads, workers of the kiln and their family members.

Many people suffered critical injuries and had to be rescued from the kiln. A team of policemen and firefighters reached the spot and ambulances arrived to take the injured persons to a local hospital.

Local imam Maulana Abu Sufiyan

Sources said one of the persons, identified as local imam Maulana Abu Sufiyan, and a girl identified as Rahat Farhan died after reaching the hospital. Considering the condition of the injured people, they were referred to Silchar Medical College and Hospital, but three more persons – Sunil Paswan, Madani Paswan and Ashraful Islam Laskar – succumbed to their injuries before reaching SMCH.

Sunil and Madani hailed from Bihar. The other injured people are being treated at the hospital, sources said.

A section of local residents claimed the chimney was too old and could not withstand the heat because of the fire and exploded.

Katigorah legislator Khalil Uddin Mazumder also visited the site soon after the tragedy and later went to the local hospital to learn about the condition of the injured people. He also spoke to officials of SMCH over the phone to enquire about the patients’ condition and about their ongoing treatment.

Cachar superintendent of police Numal Mahhato told reporters that a probe has been initiated to find out the reasons for the blasts.

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