August 2007 News

High-level Team To Probe Fire In J&K Ammunition Depot

21 August 2007
The Times of India

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday set up a high-level fact-finding team headed by Joint Secretary Binoy Kumar of the Defence Ministry to probe the major fire at the ammunition depot at Khundroo in Jammu and Kashmir. The four-member team will leave for Srinagar tomorrow to make an on-the-spot inspection of the site of the accidental fire that claimed at least 16 lives and destroyed ammunition and ordnance, including missiles, worth hundreds of crores of rupees. Kumar looks after army ordinance in the ministry. The other members of the team are the joint secretary (Kashmir) in the home ministry, the director general of army ordinance and a representative of the army operational logistics directorate, a defence ministry statement said. 'The team will look into various aspects of the mishap, specially those relating to safety and security of the ammunition depot personnel and civil population living in and around the blast site,' the statement said. Kumar and his team will also hold talks with state government officials. The team's visit comes in the wake of growing demands for compensation from people affected by the fire. The army has already ordered an inquiry by experts into the fire. Thousands of army personnel are currently engaged in a massive search in the vicinity of the depot to defuse unexploded bombs and missiles so that the area can be declared safe for the return of people to nearby villages.


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