The blast was so strong that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks, say locals
At least eight people have been killed in an explosion at a stone mining quarry in Karnataka's Shivamogga district, the police control room said.
The possibility of subsequent explosions at the quarry at Hunasondi near village Abbalagere has not been ruled out by the police since some dynamite sticks are still live, the Indian Express reports quoting police.
Bomb disposal squads have been called in and the entire area has been sealed.
The people who died in the explosion were reportedly transporting the explosives meant for mining in a truck when the incident happened. The truck was destroyed, the police said.
“At least eight people were killed in a dynamite blast at a railway crusher site in Hunasodu village,” Shivamogga District Collector KB Shivakumar told news agency ANI late on Thursday.
According to the police, the blast took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10:30 pm and it sent shockwaves in neighbouring areas including Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts. “The blast was so strong that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks,” PTI quoted eye-witnesses as saying.
TODAY IN SHIVAMOGGA AT 10:28 PM EARTHQUAKE TYPE. pic.twitter.com/cY7XyClnpR— S.p Santhosh Kumar 8885 (@1957CGP) January 21, 2021
The jolt was mistaken to have been caused by an earthquake, following which 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 said according to PTI.
As the news broke, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his pain at the loss of lives saying the state government is providing all possible assistance to the affected.
Pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover soon. The State Government is providing all possible assistance to the affected: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 22, 2021
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences over the incident saying such incidents call for an in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.
The truck carrying the explosives was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition, the police said.
The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 22, 2021
Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.
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. Senior district and police officials including the superintendent of police of Shivamogga have rushed to the spot.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Friday ordered a high-level probe to look into the incident.
Karnataka: Police and officials inspect the site in Hunasodu village of Shivamogga district where a blast occurred last night. Shivamogga MP BY Raghavendra is also present at the spot.— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2021
CM BS Yediyurappa has ordered a high-level probe into the incident. https://t.co/tti4vzsakY pic.twitter.com/GyBVJ22bzr
“I had instructed the authorities last night to take all necessary measures for rescue operations and others. A high-level probe has also been ordered. Strict action will be taken against the guilty,” Yediyurappa said.
He added: “The incident that took place in Shivamogga yesterday [on Thursday] night is tragic and highly unfortunate. I express my deepest condolences to the kin of the deceased.”