Jhabua, Sept 12: At least 50 people were killed and over 150 others injured after gelatin sticks in a building caught fire and exploded in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district on Saturday.
According to reports, the blast took place in the house of one Rajendra Kumar Kaswa who had stored gelatine sticks in his house along with LPG cylinders.
Many others are suspected to be trapped in the debris, said an official, adding that the exact number of casualties will be known once the debris is cleared.
District collector Aruna Gupta reportedly said the blast was too early to ascertain the exact reason. “It’s a matter of investigation. Our first priority is to treat the injured who have been referred to hospitals in Dahod, Ratlam and Jhabua,” Gupta said.
Senior officials from Jhabua including superintendent of police GG Pandey and state tribal welfare minister Antar Singh Arya have rushed to the spot.
State home minister Babulal Gaur said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Meanwhile, a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been dispatched to Jhabua to help in the salvage operations of the collapsed building.
(With Agency Inputs)