At least three children were killed in Chirang village in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday when a live bomb exploded around 5.30 pm. The bomb was reportedly a used shell from the Indian Army’s firing range nearby.

“Villagers used to collect these used shells and melt them to collect the aluminium in it,” Anjaw District Superintendent of Police Habung Hailyang said. The shell which exploded on Saturday was around a year old, he added.

Local MLA Dasanglu Pul also confirmed the incident. “A news of an unfortunate incident coming in from my constituency where we lost three children in a bomb blast which occurred this evening at Chirang village under Hayuliang circle,” she said on Facebook. “Children are believed to have found the live bomb from the army firing range near their village and collected it without knowing the dangers out of it and it exploded this evening.” Pul offered her condolences to the families of the children.

Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said he was “deeply saddened and shocked” by the incident. “Words are not enough to console the grieving families,” he tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers with them.”