RE-POSTING: Sunday’s firing practice at Air Defence college goes wrong; Three Young Officers and a Havaldar grievously injured, airlifted

Around 11am while a routine, firing practice was on inside the army’s sprawling Air Defence College, an accidental explosion rocked the coastal village of Gopalpur in Odisha. It led to grevious injuries to three Young Officers and one Havaldar. All of them had to be rushed to Kolkata where they were admitted to the Command Hospital for further treatment.

While confirming the development, Defence Ministry official said, “It has taken place today. We are investigating the matter. Specialists are being taken onboard for the task”. As is the procedure, the army will conduct a Court of Inquiry into the matter.

It was learnt that three Young Officers (YOs) who were undergoing their course at the Army Air Defence College in Gopalpur had sustained injuries while ‘chambering’ which is a process through which a bullet is loaded into its chamber in a gun. Of the three YOs two have sustained serious injuries on their hands, faces and parts of their bodies have been blown off as per initial reports. The other two injuries are comparatively minor. The three officers injured are all Captain-rank officers. Whether the incident was a result of faulty ammunition or were procedures not followed while the practice was on will have to be established by the inquiry.

So critical was the situation that these men had to be airlifted to Kolkata according to information accessed.

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