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10 feared killed in Karnataka blast

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Shivamogga (Karnataka), Jan 22 (IANS) A loud sound of explosion was heard in Shivamogga on late Thursday night, suspected to be caused by explosive materials kept on a stone crushing site, the police said, adding at least 10 people have been reportedly killed.

This incident took place in Abbalagere village located along the Shivamogga-Hanagal state highway, which passes through Savalunga and Shikaripura.

Shikaripura, 290 km from Bengaluru, is the home constituency of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. According to the police, no one was able to reach the site of explosion.

“The incident took place in a stone crushing unit, where generally at least 50 boxes of mining explosive material is stored,” the police said.

The impact of the blast was such that a huge crater of 5 km was created and due to the subsequent heat, the rescue operations could not be started, a police officer told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, another source in the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNMDC) told IANS that a lorry carrying mining explosive material exploded due to which, a loud sound along with earthquake-like vibrations was experienced across Shivamogga district in Karnataka at around 10.20 p.m.

The police said that they have not been able to confirm whether lorry was carrying explosive material yet as none of the rescue operation team is able reach to a place where the blast has occurred.

“Heat is so much that nobody is able to go there and the smell of explosive material that has spread to about nearly 8-10 km has not subsided. Once the heat and smell reduce, the rescue teams can enter there. We have sealed the entire area and keeping a close watch on it,” a police officer said.

Meanwhile, KSNDC commissioner, Manoj Rajan rejected theories doing rounds that “mysterious” sound could be the result of a minor earthquake.

–IANS

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