The powerful explosion near Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua district that left over 100 people dead on Saturday was caused due to a short circuit at a shop where gelatine sticks were stored, according to police.
According to Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP), Petlawad, A R Khan, the explosion took place around 8.30 AM at Petlawad town, at a store in the building where huge piles
of explosive material used for mines were kept.
A case has been registered against the owner of the shop where the gelatine sticks, used for mining, were stored. Rajendra Kasawa is on the run while his shop and house has been sealed.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited the blast site on Sunday. He announced 10 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those killed in the blast. On Saturday, he had announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of those killed and Rs. 50,000 for those injured. Shivraj faced some angry protests as he arrived to visit the blast site.
The restaurant is located in a residential area near a bus stand in Petlawad, over 300 kms from the state capital. The explosion happened around 9 am on Saturday. Over 90 people died and nearly 100 were injured. The two-storey building housing the restaurant also collapsed. Official had earlier said a cylinder blast caused the explosion. The restaurant's proximity to the busy bus stand led to the high number of casualties.
Earlier, police had said that the explosion was caused by a cooking gas cylinder kept in the adjacent three-storey building housing a hotel.
Both the buildings were extensively damaged in the high-impact explosion compounding the tragedy.
State Home Minister Babulal Gaur said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Aa team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been dispatched to Jhabua to help in the salvage operations of the collapsed building. "A team equipped with gadgets to operate in collapsed structures has been sent to the accident site in Jhabua from Vadodara in Gujarat.The team will assist local administration in retrieval operations," NDRF Director General O P Singh said.