Family Conducts Symbolic Funeral Of Ganjam Youth Gone ‘Missing’ In Petrol Pump Explosion

Berhampur: Family members of the Ganjam youth, Simanchal Parida, who has allegedly gone missing after the powerful explosion at the LPG storage unit of the fuel filling station near Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, conducted a symbolic funeral of him in his native village presuming him to be dead in the blast.
Simanchal, who hailed from Gahangu village under Buguda police station limits in Ganjam district worked as a site engineer with an oil company in Kolkata had visited Bhubaneswar on Tuesday (October 6) for inspection of a fuel filling station.

He had spoken to his wife and mother over the phone on October 7 and had told them that he would return to Kolkata after finishing his job.

His mother who had sent a bag of rice through a bus to Bhubaneswar for him to carry back to Kolkata called Simanchal over the phone to enquire whether the bag of rice was delivered him or not but his phone did not connect. The explosion had taken place by that time.

Simanchal’s sister, his brother-in-law and other relatives had rushed to Bhubaneswar after the blast to find out whether he was fine.

After making desperate attempts to ascertain Simanchal’s whereabouts and shuttling between Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and SCB Medical College & Hospital in Cuttack but to no avail, they registered a written complaint of Simanchal going missing at the local police station.

A visit to the site of the accident convinced them that their dear one was no more, they returned to their village with a heavy heart.

The New Indian Express on Friday had reported that one of Simanchal’s relative who had visited the accident site looking for him had claimed that IOCL officials had handed over Simanchal’s wallet and ATM card which they had found from the accident site to him.

It was a heart-wrenching scene, a pall of gloom had descended on the village today, both old and young had tears in their eyes, the entire village was deep in sorrow as Simanchal’s family members and neighbours cremated an effigy of former complete with rituals associated with a Hindu funeral ceremony.

“We had been to Bhubaneswar after the explosion to look for our brother Simanchal. We couldn’t find him or get any information on him. Now we have come to know that our brother is no more. Since he is dead we held his symbolic funeral as per the rituals and customs of our village,” said Manoj Kumar Parida, Simanchal’s cousin.

Parida appealed to the government to help the family as Simanchal was the sole bread earner.

Simanchal’s family which stays in his native village comprises of his wife, mother, a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter.

However, the Commissionerate Police and the State Government are yet to confirm the whereabouts of Simanchal.

As reported in the New Indian Express on Friday, Simanchal was engaged at the fuel station on Wednesday afternoon. Along with him were Sadananda Nayak and Harshvardhan Srivastava.

Sadananda succumbed to his injuries on Thursday morning. Srivastava is the Odisha head of the agency which was contracted to carry out the testing work of the fuel station’s LPG unit, he is in critical condition with 40% burns and damage to both eyes.

The same report says that rescue teams had recovered at least 27 body parts strewn across the spot.

Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi had said that recovered body parts have been sent to the Forensic Medicine & Toxicology (FMT) Department of SCB Medical College and if required a DNA mapping will be conducted.

Manoj Kumar Parida, Simanchal's cousin

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