Shivamogga: At least six people were killed in an explosion in central Karnataka's Shivamogga district late on Thursday. The explosion occurred when a lorry carrying gelatin sticks and a huge cache of dynamites exploded near a stone quarry at around 10:20 pm.A senior police officer of Davanagere range S Ravi told the media that the entire area has been sealed. He further informed that bomb disposal squads were called to the area from Mangaluru and Bengaluru.
Two people have been detained in this matter. Police have detained stone crusher owner Sudhakar on Thursday night while the business partner Gandhada Maneya Narashima was arrested on Friday morning. Officials informed that the duo has a history of criminal charges in police stations across the district. They had taken the land for lease from Avinash Kulkarni and were involved in the stone crushing business from the last few years.
The impact of the blast was felt in nearby Chikkamagaluru district as well. The explosion resulted in a loud sound which shattered window panes and the subsequent tremors caused panic amongst the people. Many ran out of their homes fearing that it was an earthquake.
Some took to Twitter to share pictures of the broken window panes, of people out in the streets and damage to buildings.
Karnataka Minister for Mines and Geology Murugesh Rudrappa Nirani sent out a series of tweets saying that among the 15 killed in the blast were labourers from Bihar. "It is suspected that gelatin sticks in a truck near the stone quarry exploded, killing the labourers from Bihar. I am saddened by the tragic incident at a stone quarry near Abbalagere in Shivamogga. My deepest condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. The government will take strict action against illegal stone quarrying," he said in his tweet.
Shivamogga is Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's home district. CM Yediyurappa has ordered a probe into the explosion. He has also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased. The Chief Minister tweeted, "I wish to express my deepest condolences to the family of those who died. The wounded are being treated and I wish them all speedy recovery. A high-level investigation has been ordered and strict action against the guilty is certain."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Many more are feared to have died. The site is still being cleared at the time of filing of this article.
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