Bhubaneswar: Eleven college students, including nine girls, sustained burn injuries when a gas balloon exploded during Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's birthday celebrations on Friday.
The youths, including the nine girl students of Ramadevi Women's University in Bhubaneswar, had come to wish Patnaik on his 70th birthday when the balloon exploded near the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party office here.
All the injured were admitted to the Capital Hospital, where hospital superintendent Binod Mishra said they sustained burn injuries on their foreheads and hands but their condition was stable.
Patnaik, state Law Minister Arun Sahoo, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation mayor Anant Narayan Jena and several BJD leaders rushed to the hospital. Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan and Odisha BJP president K.V. Singhdeo and several other leaders also visited the hospital and inquired about the victims' condition.
Police Commissioner R.P. Sharma said the reason for the explosion is yet to be ascertained but they suspect that the mishap occurred due to a cracker blast near the gas balloon.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the Odisha Chief Minister on his 70th birthday on Twitter and it was promptly responded to by Naveen Patnaik.
"On Naveen Patnaik ji's birthday, I extend my greetings & pray for his long and healthy life," Modi tweeted.
"Thank you so much for your kind wishes Sir. With Warm Regards," Patnaik responded.