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At least 6 dead in Karnataka’s Shivamogga after explosive-laden truck blasts

On Thursday night, a lorry carrying explosives inadvertently exploded in Karnataka’s Shivamogga causing at least six deaths and leaving many more injured. The tragic incident took place around 10 km from the town center. The explosives were being taken to a quarrying site. More are feared to be dead as around 12 persons were on the truck at the time of the accident. The intensity of the blast reduced the truck to several pieces and the victim’s bodies are beyond recognition, officials said.

According to reports, the blasts took place at around 10:30 pm on Thursday. The intensity was so much that residents from surrounding areas as far as parts of neighboring districts such as Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada also reported hearing the blast. After the news led out, the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, and KB Ashoka, MLA of Shimoga Rural rushed to the spot to oversee relief operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the tragedy and tweeted, “Pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover soon. The state government is providing all possible assistance to the affected.”

CM Yediyurappa said, “I wish to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. The wounded are being treated and I wish them all a speedy recovery. A high-level investigation into the accident has been ordered and strict action against the guilty will be taken.”

He added that he is keeping a close eye on the rescue operations and sufficient teams have been dispatched to the accident site.

Visuals had surfaced on Thursday night itself showing people living in Bhadravathi town coming out from their houses fearing this was an earthquake due to the blast. Many window panes were shattered with some roads getting cracks.

However, officials at the Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre dismissed such a possibility.

Manoj Rajan, Special Commissioner for Disaster Management, said, “Data from the nearby seismic stations at Udupi and Mangaluru have been collected and there was no seismic activity recorded. Also, information was sought from the National Centre for Seismology, New Delhi, and no seismic activity was reported by them too.”

“The reason might be that the activity felt is from a very shallow depth, possibly less than 5 km and also the magnitude on the Richter scale is less than 1.0, unable to be recorded by any seismometer,” he had added.