One person was killed and two others were seriously injured in a gelatin stick explosion at a stone crushing unit in Karnataka’s Hassan district on Sunday evening. The incident happened in Chakenahalli in Holenarasipur taluk.
“In the explosion that occurred in Holenarasipur, one person was killed and two were injured. We have filed an FIR against the owner of the unit, but he is absconding,” said Hassan Superintendent of Police Srinivas Gowda.
Reports identify the deceased as Sampath (27), an employee of another stone crushing unit in Hariharapura village of the same taluk. The two injured were identified as Ravikumar and Nataraj. Ravikumar was shifted to a hospital in Bengaluru and is said to be in critical condition. Nataraj is being treated at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences in the district.
The reason for the explosion is yet to be ascertained. Reports say that the gelatin sticks were kept inside the restroom meant for the employees of the unit.
Reacting to the incident, Minister for Mines and Geology Murugesh R Nirani tweeted, “Saddened by the loss of life in gelatin stick blast at a godown at Chakenahalli in Hassan district. Condolences to the kin of the deceased and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. The government will extend medical assistance to the families of the victims. I appeal to the concerned to be extra cautious while storing, transporting & using the explosives.”
The Karnataka government had warned quarry owners to surrender excessive gelatin or risk losing their license, and gave them four weeks’ time. The order came after 12 people were killed in two different quarry blasts at Shivamogga and Chikkaballapura respectively.
A blast occurred in a quarry situated in Chikkaballapura on February 23, killing six persons while they were trying to dispose of the explosives at the site. The incident happened a month after a similar blast on January 22 at a quarry site in Shivamogga when a truck containing gelatin sticks exploded.