At least six people were killed after an explosion occurred in Karnataka's Chikkaballapur early on Tuesday. According to the police, the incident occurred when the gelatin sticks they were trying to dispose of exploded accidentally at a stone quarry site in a village. The incident comes close on the heels of a similar blast at a quarry site in Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's hometown of Shivamogga on January 22, which left six dead.
Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar, who represents the Chikkaballapur constituency visited the spot and said the bodies of the victims were badly mutilated and scattered all over the place.
According to police, the incident took place at Hirenagavalli near Peresandra.
Quarrying was stopped by the police on February 7 following complaints from the locals against the rampant use of gelatin sticks. Yet, it continued clandestinely following which another raid was carried out a few days ago and the contractor was warned not to use gelatin anymore.
The men working there went to dispose of the explosives in the wee hours of Tuesday when it went off accidentally.
Meanwhile, Sudhakar said stringent action would be taken against the owners of the mines, who had stored the explosives illegally. He added that police investigations are on into the matter.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has expressed grief over the incident.
"Pained by the loss of lives due to a mishap at Chikkaballapur in Karnataka. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover quickly," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) wrote on Twitter.