Chikkaballapur, February 23: Six people were killed and three seriously injured as the gelatin sticks that they were disposing of exploded in Hirenagavalli, Gudibande taluk, early Tuesday morning.
The case has apparently been given to the CID for investigation.
Ramu, Mahesh, Murali, Gangadhar, Umakanth and Abhi – three of them from Andhra Pradesh, one from Nepal and one more from Bagepalli taluk of the district – were killed, said the police.
The injured workers were admitted to the district hospital. Their condition is said to be serious.
The incident took place at Bhramaravasini crushing site. Quarrying, however, had been stopped by the police on February 7, as the local residents had complained against the rampant use of gelatin sticks at the quarry. Work at the site had continued without permit. The authorities had conducted a raid a few days ago and the contractor was warned against further use of gelatin sticks.
The workers had been disposing of the gelatin sticks early Tuesday, when the sticks exploded accidentally.
The blast follows a similar incident in Shivamogga on January 22, when six people died.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai visited the site and, addressing the media, said that the case has been handed over to the CID. Strict action will be taken within 24 hours of receiving the CID report, he added.
Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani tweeted that the government is taking strict measures against illegal mining, transport and storage of explosives for mining. The Chikkaballapur incident will also be probed thoroughly and the guilty will be made to face the law, he assured.
Nirani added that the relatives of the victims and the injured will be recompensed and provided help by the government.
Health Minister K Sudhakar, who is the Chikkaballapur MLA, also visited the site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has said that he has ordered a high-level investigation into the explosion and strict action will be taken against the guilty.