A blast rocked a stone quarry in Shivamogga district, Karnataka, most likely caused by dynamite used for mining stone. There is still the chance of another explosion as some of the dynamite sticks did not ignite and are still active. Meanwhile, bomb disposal squads have been sent to the quarry and it is strictly off-limits to civilians.
The police reported that around eight people died in the explosion with buildings damaged, both inside and outside the quarry and equipment destroyed. Karnataka HM has confirmed 2 deaths till now and 2 people have been detained.
The explosion took place at approximately 10:20 p.m. and shook the ground nearby. The tremors were taken for an earthquake and people dashed out of their homes onto the roads. Several glass windows were also shattered due to the shockwaves caused by the explosion. The neighbouring Chikkamagaluru district was also affected by the tremors and shockwaves.
Police & District Administration are taking care of rescue operations. Compensation & other such factors will be decided by the CM. Preliminary information says there're 7 deaths. But further information only after full clearing of area: Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Home Minister https://t.co/9YDvfDN2q8
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2021
The dead employees had been in the process of moving the dynamite reserved for mining when the explosion took place. The demolition devices were loaded in a truck, which was also destroyed.
A senior police official, S Ravi, said that the entire area has been sealed off and two corpses have been recovered while many more are suspected to have died in the quarry. He also said that bomb disposal teams have been dispatched from Bengaluru and Mangaliru as there may be more live explosives inside.
Shivamogga is the native district of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who offered his condolences to the family of those who died in the blast. He also wished a speedy recovery to the wounded currently being treated. He has also launched an investigation regarding the explosion and the guilty will be strictly punished.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted that he is pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga. He offered his condolences to the bereaved families and prays for the injured to recover soon. He also wrote that the State Government is providing all possible assistance to the affected.