Home CITY UPDATES Gelatin blast kills 6 near Chikkaballapur

Gelatin blast kills 6 near Chikkaballapur

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Accident follows earlier gelatin blast in Shivamogga

PM, CM express shock, Home and Health Ministers visit spot

CHIKKABALLAPUR:

Within a month of 6 persons, who were carrying gelatin sticks illegally in Shivamogga, being killed in a blast, 6 persons were reported dead after a similar blast at a quarry at Hirenagaveli village of Chikkaballapur district.

According to initial reports, the blast occurred at around 12.15 am on Tuesday when gelatin sticks used for blasting were being transported in a vehicle. The police have booked the quarry owner for illegal use of gelatin although he reportedly had official permission to conduct quarry mining.

Bodies flung away

The bodies of the victims were flung a considerable distance from the intensity of the explosion. Among the victims are Umakant, an engineer, locals Ramu and Mahesh, watchman Gangadhar and Muruli, a computer operator. Riaz, the driver of the Tata Ace that was carrying the explosives, was seriously injured and is being treated at a hospital.

The local police, on receiving information that one Gongoji Rao was supplying explosives, arrested him on February 7. It is learned that he had set up an explosives shop in Manchenahalli.

Surviour driver

The incident took place at the Brahmaravasini M Sandal Crusher owned by Raghavendra Reddy, Siva Reddy and Nagaraj.

‘Disposal’ accident

Speaking to mediapersons at the accident spot, Bengaluru North range IGP M Chandrashekhar said, “Prima facie some people have tried to dispose of certain explosives. The same people were raided by our staff on February 6 while they were conducting a quarry blast just one km away from the current accident spot. The police had seized gelatin sticks. Further investigation was underway and on Monday night a search was conducted and we seized a few vehicles which were used to drill holes in the quarry.”

He added, “As per initial reports, the six people had come to dispose of the explosives in the forest near Hirenagaveli village. We feel the accidental blast occurred then. We will be able to ascertain the facts only after the forensic science laboratory team conducts an investigation.”

Chikkaballapur District Superintendent of Police GK Mithun Kumar and Deputy Commissioner Lata R also inspected the site.

On Tuesday morning, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar,who represent Chikkaballapur district, visited the spot and directed officials to expedite the investigation.

PM, CM condole deaths

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his pain over the loss of lives in the blast. His tweet at 9.23 am on Tuesday morning reads, “Pained by the loss of lives due to a mishap at Chikkaballapur in Karnataka. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover quickly: PM @narendramodi”

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa too tweeted at 9.26 am in Kannada: “The death of six people near the village of Hirenagaveli in Chikkaballapur, is a shock. Information has been obtained from the District Ministers and senior officials, who have been instructed to conduct a thorough investigation and take stern action against the guilty…

“I pray that God may grant peace to the souls of the dead and give their families the power to overcome their grief. A high-level investigation into the disaster is underway and action will be taken against the guilty.”

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