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At Least 6 dead in Gelatin Blast at Illegal Quarry Site in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur

Exactly a month after five people died in a quarry blast near Shimoga, six people have died in a quarry blast in Chikkaballapur district in Karnataka. The incident took place around midnight in Hirenagaveri near Chikkaballapur on Tuesday.

The blast occurred allegedly in an illegal quarry, against which the police had registered a FIR on February 7. While five people died on the spot, a sixth person died in the hospital where he was admitted for treatment.

The blast is said to have occurred due to gelatin sticks kept hidden from the police. The police raid on February 7 had found 14 gelatin gel tubes and 17 detonators at the location. Several spots in the region were seen used for quarrying illegally, as per the FIR which has named four people as accused, including the owners of the quarry Raghavendra Reddy and Nagaraju, both of whom are absconding.

Medical education minister and disrict in-charge minister K Sudhakar and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai along with senior officials visited the site after the incident.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, in a tweet, said he had gathered information of the incident and directed officials to investigate the matter in detail.

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah tweeted that the government must also compensate the family of the deceased. He also questioned the government in a series of tweets.

“This incident a month after the blast in Shimoga is witness to the government’s irresponsibility and corruption which is party to the crime. Is the government protecting the people or the corrupt?”

“Six people who brought the explosives have died. Six bodies were found scattered. The explosives were brought in a motorcyle and Tata Ace. The blast us suspected to have occurred from petroleum gel and amonimum nitrate. The gelatin sticks blast while they were carrying it. This quarry which is spread across three acres belongs to one Nagaraj,” said home minister Basavaraj Bommai.

“In Shimoga blast, the explosives came from Ananthapura. Action has been taken against them. The incident could have been avoided if the explosive had been kept properly. We will investigate if the explosives came from outside, ” he added.

Source: News18