In an unfortunate incident, at least eight people lost their lives in an explosion in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district on Thursday night.
Notably, the explosion happened in a truck carrying explosives meant for mining and it was so strong that it sent shockwaves in the nearby areas, shattering window panes and resulting in cracks in houses and nearby roads, police said.
The incident happened near gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10.30 pm, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.
Senior district and police officials including the superintendent of police of Shivamogga immediately rushed to the spot.
Two people have been detained and a high-level investigation has been ordered into the explosion in Shivamogga district, police said on Friday. Those detained include a contractor of the stone crushing facility where the blast occurred.
Mistaken for earthquake
As the jolt was mistaken to have been caused by an earthquake, geologists were contacted, who ruled out recording tremors in any of their observatories.
“There was no earthquake. But an explosion did take place at Hunsur on the outskirts of Shivamogga under the Rural Police station limits,” a police officer said.
Another police officer said, “There has been a blast in a truck carrying gelatin. Six labourers in the truck were found dead. The vibrations were felt locally.”
PM Modi mourns deaths
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed pain at the loss of lives in the explosion in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district and said the state government is providing all possible assistance to the affected.
The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted in this regard. It 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.”
Death toll might go up
The police said that the death toll might increase. The victims were reportedly transporting the explosives meant for mining when the explosion occurred. The vehicle was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition.
Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa said, “This had never happened before in Shivamogga. We are witnessing this for the first time here. Experts are coming from Bengaluru, they will give a report after which we will take action.”
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