At least eight people have been reported dead after a dynamite blast at a stone quarry in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district. The giant explosion took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility, which hit not only Shivamogga but also in neighboring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts, according to a local news agency.
The jolt was earlier misinterpreted to have been caused by an earthquake, following which geologists looked into the matter and ruled out recording any tremors in their observatories. A police officer later confirmed that there was no earthquake but an explosion did take place at Hunsur on the outskirts of Shivamogga under the Rural Police station limits.
A truck carrying gelatin with six labourers exploded, and all six of them were found charred. The vibrations were felt locally, and local police announced that the death toll may increase, which it did.
The victims were reportedly transporting explosives meant for mining, when a mishap occurred, following the explosions. The vehicle was badly destroyed and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition.
Police officials and senior district, along with the superintendent of police of Shivamogga rushed to the site immediately.
A compensation of Rs 5 lakh each has been announced for the kin of the victims, said Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, for whom Shivamogga is the home district. He also announced that a high level investigation has been ordered and strict action against the guilty is guaranteed.
"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," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.