Six workers trying to dispose of the gelatin sticks died on February 23, 2021, when the gelatin that they were carrying, accidentally exploded at a stone quarry site in a village in Chikkaballapur. As naanugauri.com has reported the blast of this nature is second, following the blast in Shivamogga on January 22, 2021, which also had cost six lives.
According to reports, the bodies of the dead workers in Hirenagavalli near peresandra are badly mutilated. NDTV reported that quarrying was stopped by the police on February 7, 2021 following complaints from the locals against the rampant use of gelatin sticks. Yet, it continued, and another raid was carried out a few days ago and the contractor was warned not to use gelatin anymore. The Hindu reported that the local owner of the crusher, Nagraj had few explosives and wanted to conceal it in a forest area and during this operation, the workers got caught in the explosion.
Two have been held in connection with the incident. A case has been registered at the Gudibande police station. Reportedly Nagraj and two of his business partners from Andhra Pradesh are absconding.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa in a tweet has assured of stringent action against the guilty after the completion of an inquiry.
ಚಿಕ್ಕಬಳ್ಳಾಪುರದ ಹಿರೇನಾಗವಲ್ಲಿ ಗ್ರಾಮದ ಬಳಿ ಜಿಲೆಟಿನ್ ಸ್ಫೋಟದಿಂದ ಆರು ಮಂದಿ ಸಾವನ್ನಪ್ಪಿರುವುದು ತೀವ್ರ ಆಘಾತ ತಂದಿದೆ. ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಉಸ್ತುವಾರಿ ಸಚಿವರು ಮತ್ತು ಹಿರಿಯ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳಿಂದ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಪಡೆಯಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದು, ಪ್ರಕರಣದ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ತನಿಖೆ ನಡೆಸಿ, ತಪ್ಪಿತಸ್ಥರ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಕಠಿಣ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಲು ಸೂಚನೆ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. (1/2)
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) February 23, 2021
Health minister K Sudhakar and Home Minister Basavraj Bommai visited the spot. Both politicians have promised stringent action. Murugesh Nirani, Minister for Mining and Geology, said that culprits will be brought to book. “We will take measures to ensure that only licence holders can carry out blasts and illegal activities are checked,” he said.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar, meanwhile, said that it is the indifference and irresponsibility of the government that has led to such an incident recurring. “The government is busy sorting its own internal troubles and has no time to ensure that crucial law enforcement issues are addressed,” he said in a statement.