International News

Explosion at Sethiya Hotel, India

by Tokana Hasavi Jr – EM TV World News

In India, at least 89 people were killed on Saturday, with dozens injured, after a powerful gas explosion destroyed a restaurant in Petlawad in the state of Madhya Pradesh, according to Indian police.

It was a man who stored licensed mining explosives next to the restaurant, may have contributed to the massive explosion that damaged nearby buildings.

A manhunt is now in pursuit of the suspect, identified as a mining contractor identified as Rajendra Kaswa, for illegally storing explosives that included residences.

Sub-Divisional Officer of Police, Abdul Rasheed Khan, said a FIR (First Information Report) has been filed against Kaswa and police have sealed all of his properties.

“He has been booked under sections 3/4 of the Explosives Act and section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. All of his properties have been sealed, including his house and warehouses. We will be searching all of them today,” said Khan.

The explosion allegedly happened when a gas cylinder exploded.

But the magnitude was boosted by the storage of explosives near the restaurant.

India has laws prohibiting commercial use of residential buildings, but they are rarely enforced.

A fire may have triggered the blast, but an inquiry has been ordered to determine the exact cause.

On Saturday, Babulal Gaur, the Interior Minister of Madhya Pradesh, said the government will provide assistance.

“The cylinder blast took place at Sethiya Hotel in which many people have died and many others are injured. We have ordered an investigation. The injured people and the families of the deceased will be given financial assistance. The announcement of the financial assistance will be done once the report of the inquiry comes,” said Gaur.

The dead included customers at a nearby restaurant.

The impact of the blast was also felt across the road, where a few other houses also suffered damage, police said.

About 100 people were injured.

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