Shimoga blast news: Shimoga DC confirms two deaths, says more feared; quarry owners detained | Bengaluru News – Times of India

SHIVAMOGGA: Two quarry workers were charred to death after gelatin sticks loaded on a truck exploded near Hunsodu, 7km from Shimoga late Thursday night. Many more are feared to have died, officials said.
The truck was transporting gelatin sticks or stone-blasting material to a quarry in the region owned by a local businessman. The truck is believed to have been parked at the time and the labourers were resting. There are nearly 100 quarrying sites in the vicinity. The explosion occurred around 10.20pm.

“It was initially observed that there were explosives in a vehicle parked here. It’s being probed that why were they brought here. Till now, we recovered two bodies. It’s being circulated in public that 10-15 died. But it’s not substantiated by any facts,” said Shimoga district collector.

“Pained by loss of lives in Shivamogga. Condolences to bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover soon. State Govt is providing all possible assistance to affected,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ran out of house, it felt like a quake, says DC
Such was its impact that windowpanes were shattered and buildings damaged in parts of Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru districts in the Malnad region. Shimoga deputy commissioner KB Sivakumar said he ran out of his home fearing a quake, as did many other residents.
Police sources said bodies found on the spot were charred beyond recognition and the truck blown to smithereens.

Shimoga Rural MLA KB Ashok Naik said about a dozen labourers were reportedly travelling in the truck. Pungent fumes are emanating from the site and officers do not want to run the risk of entering the site in complete darkness, he said.
No earthquake reported: KSNDMC


Manoj Rajan, director, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) released a statement saying there was no earthquake reported in the area.

“Data from the nearby seismic stations at Udupi and Mangaluru have been collected and there was no seismic activity recorded. Also, information was sought from the National Centre for Seismology, New Delhi wherein no seismic activity was reported by them too,” he said.
“The reason might be that the activity was felt from a very shallow depth, possibly less than 5km and also the magnitude on the Richter scale was less than 1.0, so it wasn’t recorded by any seismometer,” he stated.
Police detain 2 quarry owners
Police detained stone crusher owner Sudhakar on Thursday night while business partner Gandhada Maneya Narashima was arrested on Friday morning, sources said.

The duo had taken the land for lease from Avinash Kulkarni and was involved in the stone crushing business from past few years. Police said that the duo were history-sheeters who have criminal charges in various police stations in the district.
The police have cordoned the area and are expecting the bomb squad and forensic expert team from Bengaluru to reach the spot by 9am.
(With inputs from Udaya Kumar)
Watch Karnataka: Major explosion in Shivamogga district, at least 8 killed

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Sagar Biswas

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