Srinagar: At least 18 army men were reportedly injured, seven of them critically, in an ‘accidental blast’ at an army camp in Khrew area of Pampore in the southern district of Pulwama district.
The blast took place at around 9:30 am during a training exercise at the army’s training centre, Corps Battle School (CBS) located inside the headquarters of 50 Rashtriya Rifles. Sources said that a powerful explosive device went off at the training school during the training exercise resulting in injuries to around 18 jawans. The injured were airlifted to army base hospital, Srinagar, for specialised treatment.
A top army officer posted in the area said the blast was accidental. “Since it is a training school, anything can explode any time there. Initial investigations suggest it was an accidental blast,” the officer told Kashmir Reader.
However, in a later statement issued to the press, defence spokesman Col NN Joshi, while acknowledging that the injured personnel had been airlifted to the base hospital at Badamibagh cantonment in Srinagar, claimed that the condition of all the injured “is stable as of now”. He also said that “it (was) a matter of investigation as to what exactly caused the blast”. A statement issued by the army also said that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.
The police, meanwhile, also said they had no idea what caused the blast. “Army can better give the details about the explosion (sic). The only thing we know is that 18 army men sustained injuries in the blast,” SP Awantipora Mohammad Irshad said.