An 8-year-old boy in the Indian state of West Bengal died after he played with a bomb that he mistook for a ball, according to police.
Nikhil Paswan was with his friend Mahesh Shaw, 12, on the street adjacent to the Kankinara railway station in North 24 Parganas District at around 7 a.m. Tuesday when the incident happened, the Times of India reported.
Both children mistook a bomb for a ball while playing, and the explosive was triggered when they came into contact with it, an unnamed senior official of the Government Railway Police was cited as saying by Times Now News.
As a result of the explosion, Paswan died, while Shaw lost one of his hands and sustained severe splinter injuries.
Shaw was in critical condition at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital as of Wednesday, according to Times of India.
Police recovered another crude bomb from the site of the explosion, as well as a mysterious box that was lying in a bush adjacent to railway tracks, according to the outlet.
No one has been arrested in connection to the incident.
Authorities are now looking into the matter, police commissioner Alok Rajoria said.
A search for the culprits is also ongoing, according to the official.
Locals reportedly staged a protest in front of the Bhatpara police station, claiming that incidents like shootings and explosions were rising.
They also spoke out against a local criminal named Md Rafiq who allegedly runs a gambling den in the area where Tuesday’s explosion occurred.
“Despite repeated appeals, police hardly take action against the criminals who make bombs and keep them here and there. The crimes in Bhatpara-Jagaddal and Kakinara areas are rising alarmingly,” Bhatpara representative Pawan Singh was quoted as saying by Times of India.
In a similar incident, a crude bomb exploded on the roof of a school building in North 24 Parganas’ Titagarh area a month ago while classes were ongoing.
Four people, including three former students of the school, were arrested in connection with the case.
Enmity between the accused and some of the students at the school was the primary motive behind the bomb incident, according to police.