Chikkaballapur: At least six people were killed when the gelatin sticks they were trying to dispose of exploded accidentally at a stone quarry site in a village in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur in the wee hours of Tuesday.

The death of 6 people near Hirenagavalli village, Chikkaballapur, due to a gelatin blast is shocking. District in-charge minister and senior officials instructed to conduct a thorough probe and take stern action against the culprits, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa said.

The incident comes close on the heels of a similar blast at a quarry site in Chief Minister B S 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.

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. Dr K Sudhakar, who is also the Chikkaballapura Dist in-charge, said, “Shocked by the incident. These are illegally held explosives. Strict action will be taken.”

Meanwhile, Karnataka Mines & Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani said, ‘’saddened by the death of 5 people in the blast at Hirenagavalli in Chikkaballapur. Unfortunate that such an incident took place after Shivamogga blast. The government will conduct an investigation & take action against those involved.’’ 

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.

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