Transformer Explosion Kills 14 At Wedding

At least 14 people, most of them women, were killed when an electric transformer exploded during a wedding in India’s North-Western State of Rajasthan, the Police said on Wednesday.

The blast occurred in a village near state capital Jaipur on Tuesday as locals were gathering at a house for a wedding function.

“The powerful explosion took place in the transformer located just outside the house as people gathered and women were singing folk songs,’’ local police officer Prahlad Singh said through the telephone.

“Five people died on the scene. Witnesses said scalding oil from the transformer fell on people and their clothes immediately caught fire.

“Among the victims were 11 women, a pregnant woman who was seriously injured in the accident lost her baby, 15 others were injured,’’ Singh said.

The condition of six victims was described as critical, having suffered 80 per cent burns.

Police said the explosion could have been due to poor maintenance of the transformer even as the state government ordered a probe to determine the cause of the blast.

Authorities also announced compensation of $15,500 each to the next of kin of the deceased.

Local leaders and villagers held protests accusing the government and electricity department of “criminal negligence’’ media reports said.

NAN

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