Just a day after the fire tragedy in an apartment in which two elderly women were burnt alive, another blast took place on Thursday in Bengaluru city where three people died and four others were severely injured on Thursday.
According to police, the incident took place at a godown in New Tharagupet near Royan Circle in Chamarajpet locality in the heart of the city.
The bodies of the victims were thrown away from the godown to the roads due to the impact of the blast. As many as 10 two-wheelers and a truck were damaged in the explosion. The deceased are identified as Muralidhar, Aslam and Fayaz, according to police sources.
Harish Pande, DCP (South, Bengaluru) said that the blast is not a result of the LPG cylinder explosion, gas compressor or an electricity short circuit. "The blast seems to have been triggered by an unstable explosive. We have to investigate it," he said. The explosion took place in a transport godown where crackers are being stored, he added.
The cracker consignment in the godown is intact and the exact cause of explosion needs to be investigated. It is a transport godown and how the crackers are stored, from where they have been brought, will be investigated, he maintained.
Two persons inside the godown and one person outside the godown died on the spot. The impact of the blast was such that the body parts of the victims were strewn across the area.
The eye witnesses explained that it felt like a bomb blast. The tremors were felt in the buildings located 100 meters away. The bikes parked in the vicinity of the blast spot were reduced to pieces and even a mini truck was damaged in the incident.
Firecrackers stocked in warehouse: Minister
Further investigation revealed that the explosion in the warehouse was due to the firecrackers stocked there, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said later in the day.
"This is a huge tragedy. The police, fire force, emergency services personnel have rushed to the spot. They are investigating how the incident has taken place. The police are taking all precautions but these incidents are happening," he said. "I think it is the result of crackers. Since, Deepavali festival is around the corner and crackers are being stocked," he added.
Earlier the police, after preliminary investigations, had said that three persons had been killed but was it was difficult to ascertain as body parts were strewn around. Four persons suffered serious injuries in the explosion and the condition of one of them is said to be critical as he has suffered 72 to 75 per cent burns.
The deceased were identified as Muralidhar, and Aslam. Fayaz, who was earlier suspected to be dead, is being treated at the hospital and his condition is said to be serious.
Meanwhile, V.V. Puram police have arrested the warehouse owner Babu and are questioning him. Sources said that one part of the building was used to stock crackers, and three boxes exploded, while 80 boxes each containing 15 to 20 kg remain intact.
However, the exact cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained. It was so strong that windows of houses located up to a distance of 200 metres were shattered.
Bengaluru's DCP, East, Harish Pande, had earlier clarified that the blast was not due to a gas cylinder explosion, gas compressor, or an electrical short circuit. "The blast seems to have been triggered by an unstable explosive. We have to investigate it," he had said.
"The cracker consignment in the warehouse is intact and the exact cause of explosion needs to be investigated. It is a transport warehouse and how the crackers are stored, from where they have been brought will be investigated," he said.
Revenue Minister R. Ashok stated that considering the fire tragedy incidents in the city, action will be initiated to ensure safety in residential areas. "I will hold a meeting in this regard with officers of BBMP," he stated.
Meanwhile, former minister and Congress MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan visited the spot and announced Rs 2 lakh for the family of the deceased and also said that he would take care of the expenses of those injured.
(With inputs from IANS)