15 killed in powerful explosion in southern India

NEW DELHI, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — More than 15 people were killed and 20 sustained injuries in a powerful explosion in Guntur district in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh Monday morning, a senior police official said. The injured have been admitted to a local hospital, and some are in serious condition, he said. “The explosion took place when a fire, triggered by a cylinder blast, engulfed gelatin sticks stored in a house in Narayanapuram village in Guntur. The explosion was so powerful that nearly 15 neighboring hutments caught fire, and in the incident over 15 people lost their lives,” the official said. A probe has been launched into the incident, he said.



[Another version, ed.] New Delhi – At least 12 people including six children were killed and 20 injured Monday as explosives stored in a house went off in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh, news reports said. The explosion occurred in Narayanpur in the Guntur district, some 300 kilometres south-west of state capital Hyderabad. A two-storey house in which sticks of explosives were stored was destroyed while some neighbouring houses were also damaged, the IANS news agency reported. Rescue workers found 12 bodies in the debris. Officials said the death toll might go up as the work to clear the rubble was continuing. A businessman who had stored the explosives to supply to mine owners in the region and his three family members were among those killed in the blast. Witnesses suspected a cooking gas cylinder blast triggered the explosion. State authorities have ordered a probe into the incident. Officials said they were trying to ascertain if the house owner had a licence to store the explosives. Local residents alleged that the explosives were stored illegally and that local officials had failed to act on their complaints which warned that a blast could take place.


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