At least eight workers were killed and several others injured in a massive explosion of detonators in a private stone quarry in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district on Friday night.
The incident occurred around 8.30 pm at Hathi Belagal village of Aluru block. The condition of those injured in the explosion is said to be serious.
The impact of the explosion was so massive that huge blocks of stone from the quarry flung into the air and fell on a workers’ shed, in which nearly 30 labourers, mostly from Odisha and Chhattisgarh, were taking rest after the day’s long work.
The explosion resulted in the eruption of flames from the quarry that spread to surroundings, engulfing three tractors, a truck and another shed, which was completely gutted.
It also created deafening sounds and triggered tremors in the surrounding villages, causing cracks in several houses, resulting in the villagers running out in panic. Several boulders also fell on the nearby houses hurting several villagers.
According to sources, eight bodies were retrieved from under the shed. Some more people were believed to be crushed under the stone blocks.
The injured were shifted to Aluru government hospital immediately.
Eyewitnesses said that they heard a deafening sound and there was bright burning before the blast engulfed the quarry.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the incident and directed Kurnool district authorities to rush to the spot to oversee relief operations.
YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan also expressed grief over the incident. The Jana Sena Chief urged the state government to take action Srinivas Chowdhury the owner of the private quarry.