Shimoga: A big blast was heard in Shimoga district last night. It was found out to be an explosion at a stone mining quarry in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district. The police said that over fifteen were killed in an explosion.
Police have not ruled out the risk of subsequent blasts at the Hunasondi quarry near the village of Abbalagere, as some dynamite sticks are still alive. Bomb disposal squads were called in and secured the whole place.
The individuals who died in the blast were reportedly carrying the explosives intended for mining in a truck. The truck was completely destroyed by the blast, the police said.
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said the police have already arrested the owner of the quarry and the supplier of dynamite. “At the outset, it seems a lot of quantity of dynamite has exploded there and there’s been some negligence by the quarry owner and the operators,” he said.
The approximate death toll is not known yet. Although some ministers said six, it is said that nine more bodies have been found.
Murugesh Rudrappa Nirani, who became the mining minister a day ago announced in a series of tweets that among the 15 killed in the blast were Bihar workers. “It is alleged that gelatin sticks exploded in a truck near the stone quarry, killing the Bihar workers. I am devastated by the tragic incident at a stone quarry in Shivamogga near Abbalagere. My deepest condolences to the victims’ families and hope for the wounded to heal soon. Strict action against illicit stone quarrying would be taken by the government, – he said in his tweet.
Calling for an “in-depth investigation” into the devastating explosion, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the news of the explosion at a Karnataka stone mining quarry is “tragic”. Condolences to the victims’ relatives,” Gandhi tweeted. “These events call for rigorous investigation so that such tragedies can be stopped in the future,” said the former chief of Congress.”