At least 104 people were killed and several injured after a cooking gas cylinder exploded at 8:30am on Saturday inside a restaurant building, followed by another massive blast in an adjoining building in Jhabua district, Madhya Pradesh, according to the local police.
The deafening blast occurred when dozens of office workers and school children were having breakfast at the restaurant situated in Petlawad town, about 60km from the district headquarters, said reports.
"Eighty three people are dead. Sixty postmortem examinations have been carried out so far and doctors are carrying out the postmortems of the remaining bodies," IANS quoted Inspector ML Gaur of the Jhabua police control room as saying.
The explosion has also partly damaged several adjacent buildings in the area. The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.
Several people are believed to be buried under the debris. About 25 ambulances have reportedly been rushed to the spot from Indore and Ratlam while burn wards have been alerted at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital and Chotiram Hospital in Indore.
There have also been unconfirmed reports about gelatin sticks, which are used in mining, being stored in the building.
The state government has declared a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the relatives of those killed and Rs 50, 000 to the injured.
Check out the first visuals and latest photos from the area:
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 13, 2015
Jhabua (MP)blast UPDATE: 82 people dead.
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 12, 2015
Jhabua gas cylinder blast pic.twitter.com/MK7EmDLjVa
— Akshay Paliwal (@akshaypaliwal89) September 12, 2015
— Venkat Gandhi (@gandhi_pv) September 12, 2015