Bengaluru: Seven people were killed in a massive explosion in Shivamogga, the home district of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa late Thursday night.
The blast took place around 10 km from the town centre when a truck, laden with explosives, was going to a quarrying site. Officials said more deaths are expected as around 12 persons were on the truck at the time of the accident. The intensity of the blast was so huge that it shook Shivamogga and the iron ore town of Bhadravati to its bones. People in the neighbouring districts of Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada were also rattled by the blast, according to a report.
According to reports, the blast took place at around 10:30 pm on Thursday night and was accidental.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa offered their condolences. In a tweet, the PM said: “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.”
Yediyurappa said, “I wish to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. The wounded are being treated and I wish them all a speedy recovery. A high-level investigation into the accident has been ordered and strict action against the guilty will be taken.”
He added that he is keeping a close eye in the rescue operations and sufficient teams have been dispatched to the accident site.
“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.
Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani said stringent action will be taken against the culprits responsible for the explosion. He added that around 50 crushers and quarries were operational in the area “with the license from the district administration.” “They (people operating crushers) had been supplying (material) not only for Railways but also for all development works including residential purposes and public work.”
District in-charge minister K S Eshwarappa said action will be taken against the guilty as soon as the report is submitted by experts. “This has never happened before in Shivamogga. We will take strict action based on the report submitted by experts coming in from Bengaluru,” he said.
In a tweet, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said “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,” he tweeted.