Jhabua blast: Manhunt to nab man who stored explosives in building

Jhabua (MP), PTI: At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured yesterday after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town. Reuters photo
Police have launched a manhunt to arrest the person who stored a huge pile of explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of explosions killing 89 people and injuring over 100 at Petlawad town here.

“We have booked Rajendra Kasawa under IPC section 304 (man slaughter or punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and section 3 (punishment for causing explosion likely to endanger life and property and section 4 (punishment for attempt to cause explosion, or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life and property) of Explosive Substances Act yesterday,” Petlawad Sub-Divisional Officer of Police A R Khan told PTI.

Police have carried out searches at some places to arrest Kasawa, he said. After the explosion yesterday, Kasawa and his family members fled from their residence.Police have sealed his place where the explosive material was stored.

Meanwhile, locals expressed anger over such huge amount of explosives being stored in a busy area that caused a massive blast leaving a trail of deaths and destruction.

At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured yesterday after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town here.

The blast completely destroyed at least two buildings– one in which explosive material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging several houses, officials said.

The explosion took place in the building of Kasawa who had a licence to use explosive material for digging wells in rocky areas.

Kasawa stored the explosive material, including gelatin sticks in huge quantity, in the residential building having two shops in it and situated close to the busy Sethia Restaurant in new bus stand area, a police official said.

In the vicinity of the restaurant, a large number of daily wage labourers were sitting when the explosion occurred. Besides, many persons were there inside the restaurant which is a major eatery in the area. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

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