Karnataka: Explosion at quarry kills eight, two detained
In a terrible piece of news, at least eight people died due to a dynamite blast at a railway crusher site in Hunasodu village in the Shivamogga district of Karnataka. Two people were detained. Reports said the blast occurred close to a gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10:30 pm on Thursday night. The deafening blast sent shockwaves in neighboring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.
Explosives were being transported for mining when tragedy struck
Those who died in the blast were said to be transporting gelatin for mining in a truck. The heavy vehicle was completely destroyed in the incident. Earlier, the jolt was mistaken as an earthquake but geologists ruled out this possibility. No seismic activity, usually recorded at depth of 15-20 km was confirmed by 11 pm. "There was no earthquake," a cop told PTI.
Area has been sealed off, bomb squads called
The entire area was quickly sealed off. "So far we have seen two bodies and many are feared dead inside the quarry. Bomb disposal teams will reach here from Mangaluru and Bengaluru in a few hours," a senior cop told NDTV. He added that no one will be allowed inside till the squads arrive as live explosives could still be present.
Glasses in many houses were shattered
Reportedly, glasses were also shattered in a couple of houses, far from the site. KB Ashok Naik, MLA from Shivamogga, told Deccan Chronicle that thick nauseating smoke engulfed the entire area. "No official has been able to reach the spot due to the intense smoke. However, locals have been able to retrieve the bodies of five laborers from the blast site," he said.
Senior cop urged not to spread rumors about death toll
Karnataka Police informed the two people detained include a contractor. "There are rumors that at least 10 to 15 people have died. Let the police complete their investigation," Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner KB Shivakumar told PTI about media reports.
CM Yediyurappa ordered a high-level probe
To note, Shivamogga is the home district of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Taking to Twitter on Friday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said he has been in touch with senior officials since last night and that rescue teams have been sent. He revealed that a high-level investigation has also been ordered. The CM also hoped that the injured get well soon.
Wish to express my deepest condolences to bereaved families: Yediyurappa
ಮೃತರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಚಿರಶಾಂತಿಯನ್ನು ಕೋರುತ್ತಾ, ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬದವರಲ್ಲಿ ತೀವ್ರ ಸಂತಾಪಗಳನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಗಾಯಗೊಂಡವರಿಗೆ ಚಿಕಿತ್ಸೆ ನೀಡಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದು, ಅವರೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಶೀಘ್ರದಲ್ಲೇ ಚೇತರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲಿ ಎಂದು ಹಾರೈಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಈ ದುರ್ಘಟನೆಯ ಉನ್ನತ ಮಟ್ಟದ ತನಿಖೆಗೆ ಆದೇಶಿಸಲಾಗಿದ್ದು, ತಪ್ಪಿತಸ್ಥರ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಕಠಿಣ ಕ್ರಮ ನಿಶ್ಚಿತ. (2/2)— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) January 22, 2021
Pained by loss of lives: PM Modi
Separately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed condolences. "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, (sic)" his office tweeted today.
He assured state government is providing all possible help
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