At least eight people were killed in a major blast at a crusher site in Hunasodu village of Shivamogga district last night. The blast happened after a truckload of explosives, which was meant for mining, caught fire, killing six people on the spot.
CM BS Yediyurappa termed the incident "unfortunate". "A high-level probe into this unfortunate incident has been ordered and strict action will be taken against the culprits," he tweeted.
The massive explosion took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10.30 pm on Thursday, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga, but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.
So strong was the blast that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks, said an eye-witness, news agency PTI reported.
Many people even contacted geologists who confirmed no such tremors were recorded in the area. A police official said the incident happened in a truck that was carrying gelatin. After the blast, six labourers were found dead in the truck. Later, police reported two more deaths, and didn't rule out the possibility of more deaths.
Police have isolated the core area and are yet to ascertain the total damage. Cops will be allowed to enter the area only after clearance from the bomb squad.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was 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," he tweeted.
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
With PTI inputs