Bengaluru, January 22
Two people have been detained and a high-level investigation has been ordered into the explosion in Shivamogga district, which left at least six dead, police said on Friday.
The detained included a contractor of a stone crushing facility where the blast occurred when a truckload of gelatin sticks went off, police added.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa expressed grief over the loss of lives in the blast at the stone crusher facility at Hunasodu in Shivamogga, his home district.
A high-level investigation into the accident has been ordered and stringent action would be taken against the guilty, he said.
He said he had been in contact with senior officials since last night and dispatched teams to carry out rescue operations.
“My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
Meanwhile, the authorities have not ruled out the possibility of the death toll increasing.
“There are rumours that at least 10 to 15 people have died. Let the police complete their investigation,” Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K B Shivakumar told PTI on Friday.
The sound of the blast, which was initially thought to be an earthquake, was heard in neighbouring Davangere, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada districts.
In Shivamogga, the effect was severe as some houses developed cracks, roof tiles and window panes shattered into pieces.
The vehicle was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition.
The massive explosion took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10.30 pm, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga, but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.
As the jolt was mistaken to have been caused by an earthquake, geologists were contacted, who ruled out recording tremors in any of their observatories.
“There was no earthquake. But an explosion did take place at Hunsur on the outskirts of Shivamogga under the Rural Police station limits,” a police officer told PTI.
Another police officer said, “There has been a blast in a truck carrying gelatin. Six labourers in the truck were found dead. The vibrations were felt locally.”
The victims were reportedly transporting the explosives meant for mining when the explosion occurred. The vehicle was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition. PTI
The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic.
Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 22, 2021