When villagers woke to see people ablaze

Gruesome scene: 'Explosion toll announced by police not correct'

When villagers woke to see people ablaze

For the people of Beelpur village near Jaipur-Delhi highway, Saturday night was no less than a nightmare.

A loud explosion followed by rising flames and shrill voices of the commuters on highway woke them up. The rumours that followed spread like wildfire. Villagers with sleepy eyes rushed to the highway and were shocked to see people burning alive and crying for help, whom they could not rescue.

“We heard a loud explosion and saw flames on highway. We immediately rushed to the spot. It was terrifying to see people burning but we could not do anything,” said Ramji Lal Gujar of Beelpur village. 

By the time they could realise that it was a collision between gas tanker and a truck, similar voices were heard from the Hanuman temple located adjacent to highway. It took a moment for the villagers to understand that it was the head priest of the temple shouting for the help.  “The impact of explosion and fire was so huge that cracks appeared in nearby temple and the house of the priest was in flames. We broke the windows and took out the priest and others who were sleeping in the temple at around 10 pm,” said Roop Singh, a local resident.

However, the worst was yet to come. People were horrified to see a dead body hanging on the tree on the premises of the temple. In the nearby fields and trees, villagers remains of some of the dead and parts of  mangled vehicles.

“By the time police and fire brigade came, we recovered parts of the bodies from the field,” said Mohan Singh, a local villager. Villagers claimed that number of dead announced by the police was not correct. “Police have announced that 10 died in the accident but we can defiantly claim that death toll is about 40. We ourselves counted more than 12,” said Rupa Ram Jat, a villager.

Meanwhile, a section of villagers are of the view that the incident is due to the curse of their god.  A number of villagers are now thinking of organising “Maha Mrituyanjay Rituals” so that such accidents do not occur near their village.

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