At least six men were killed in a dynamite blast in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district on Tuesday when they were allegedly trying to dispose of the illegal explosive. The Inspector General of Police, M Chandrasekhar issued a proper investigation and stated that the explosive belonged to a legal quarry pulled up for violating the norms.
“It looks like some people had tried to dispose of illegal explosives and there was an accidental blast. Bomb detection and disposal team and forensic teams have arrived from Bengaluru. We will be able to finer details of the incident once their investigation is over,” stated Chandrashekhar.
The ambulance driver who brought them to the hospital said to the police that “We reached the location around 1.40am. We were initially told it was an accident, but when we reached the location, we realised there was a blast and there were five people.”
D Sudhakar, the Minister In Charge of the district, assumes that the explosives belonged to the legal quarry, which was closed down on February 7. It was closed for not storing explosives properly and also for not having an engineer at the site. “We suspect that fearing further inspections, the owners must have got some employees to move the explosives to a forested area in Gudubande, around 2km away from the quarry,” he said.
According to him the explosives were moved using a mini-truck and two others have accompanied it on bikes “…the bomb disposal team…said that even the signals from the mobile phones could have triggered the explosion. But they are investigating further,” Sudhakar said.
However, police have identified three owners of the quarry and the legal action has begun consequently.
Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths. “Pained by the loss of lives due to a mishap at Chikkaballapur in Karnataka. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover quickly: PM,” he tweeted.
Karnataka recorded the second such blast within the last two months. On January 22, eight people were killed in Shivamogga in a dynamite blast at a railway crusher site.