A month after an explosion at a quarry site in Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s hometown Shivamogga, another blast at a stone quarry site in Hirenagavalli village of the state’s Chikkaballapur on Tuesday (February 23) killed six people, reports said.
The victims were reportedly trying to dispose of gelatin sticks at the quarry site. In the January 21 incident too, six people had died.
Media reports said the police had stopped quarrying at Hirenagavalli on February 7 after residents complained against the rampant use of gelatin sticks. A police raid was conducted a few days ago and the contractor was reportedly warned not to use gelatin sticks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the deaths in 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 PM tweeted.
In Tuesday’s blast, the bodies of the victims were badly mutilated, according to Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar, who is from the Chikkaballapur constituency. He visited the spot and warned of strict action against the mine owners who had stored the explosives illegally.
CM Yediyurappa has ordered an investigation. After the January 21 blast, the CM had said: “illegal quarrying or mining will not be permitted and action will be taken… I will take necessary action to stop illegal quarrying or mining,” he had said.
A 2018 report of the state mines and geology department pointed out that there are around 30,000 violations of quarrying and stone crushing rules in Karnataka.