Massive blast in Madhya Pradesh restaurant kills 89, over 100 injured
Pradesh): At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured on Saturday
after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped
through a crowded area in Petlwad town of Jhabua district.
The blast occurred at
8.30am, completely destroying at least two buildings — one in which explosive
material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging
several houses, officials said.
“89 people have been
killed in the explosion,” block medical officer Urmila Choyal told PTI. The
explosion took place in the building of Rajendra Kasawa who has a licence to
use explosive material for digging wells in rocky areas.
Kasawa stored the
explosive material including gelatin sticks in huge quantity in the residential
building having two shops in it and situated close to the busy Sethia
Restaurant in new bus stand area, a police official said. In the vicinity of
the restaurant, a large number of daily wage labourers were sitting when the
Besides many persons
were there inside the restaurant which is a major eatery in the area, an
eyewitness said. One of the injured, Narsingh (42), said body parts were strewn
in the area after the blast.
“We have seen them
flying and falling on the ground. Vehicles, especially two-wheelers were badly
damaged and lying on the road,” he said. Due to the impact of the explosion,
the double-story house in which explosive material were stored collapsed
trapping a number of persons, he said.
State home minister
Babulal Gaur said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Expressing anguish over
the loss of lives, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex-gratia
of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
“We have performed
autopsy so far on 60 bodies. Rest are lying in the premises for post-mortem,”
chief medical officer Arun Sharma said. Among the victims were a large number
of labourers who were waiting in area for their daily work. Besides some people
going to Gujarat were also standing near the hotel for tea and snacks and
majority of them were either killed or injured in the blast, a police official
“Initially we heard the
sound of crackers from a house that also has two shops on the ground floor.
Later, when someone opened its shutter, a huge explosion took place forcing
people to run for cover,” Balram, an injured labourer, told PTI in Jhabua
“Only those people
survived who ran away from the spot but they too suffered injuries,"
Narsingh said and claimed nearly 150 people were injured.
A large number of
people were also trapped in the retuarant located in an adjacent three-storey
building, he said.
Earlier, police had
said that the explosion was caused by a cooking gas cylinder kept in the hotel
restaurant. Nearly 100 people were injured in the explosion, a police official