At least 85 dead in twin explosions in Madhya Pradesh
By Sourav Kumar Mondal
At least 85 people were killed and nearly 100 people were injured when two consecutive explosions took place in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. The first explosion in a restaurant triggered another blast in the adjacent building where mining explosives were stored, which caused more damage than the first one.
It was initially assumed that LPG cylinders in the restaurant were the actual reason behind the accident, but later it surfaced that the gelatine sticks stored in the adjacent building went off doing most of the damage.
The explosion took place at around 8:30 in the morning in Petlawad town of Jhabua district. A large number of daily wage labourers were at the area when the blast happened. Many office workers and school students were inside the restaurant, as it was the major eatery in the area.
“We have seen them flying and falling on the ground. Vehicles especially two-wheelers were badly damaged and lying on the road,” Narsingh (42), one of the injured, told the media.
According to a Police official, many people gathered near the restaurant after the first explosion to see what happened there. Few moments later, the second blast occurred which was more powerful.
Rajendra Kasawa, who lives in the building where the explosion took place, has a license to use those explosive materials for digging wells in rocky areas. He stored gelatine sticks along with other explosive materials in a large amount in the building which is very close to the busy restaurant.
A team of National Disaster Response Force was despatched to help the rescue work.
NDRF director general OP Singh said, “A team equipped with gadgets to operate in collapsed structures has been sent to the accident site in Jhabua from Vadodara in Gujarat. The team will assist local administration in retrieval operations”.
Police officials have said that the death toll has increased throughout the day as rescue worker have continued to pull out bodies from under the debris. It is said that the accident is one of the deadliest massacre to occur in India in recent years.
Madhya Pradesh’s chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said, “This is a tragic incident, which has shook me. The causes of the incident will be investigated”.
According to some reports, CM Chouhan has announced compensation of rupees 2,00,000 for the families of those died and 50,000 for those who were injured in this accident.
President Pranab Mukherjee also condoled the loss of lives in the explosion.
Feature image source: Indian Express