At least 14 people were killed and seven injured after fire broke out at a firecracker shop on the outskirts of Karnataka’s Bengaluru on Saturday, reported ANI.
The accident occurred due to an explosion while crackers were being unloaded from a vehicle. The owner of the shop, Ramaswamy Reddy, and his son Naveen Reddy, were detained on Sunday. According to The Hindu, they were booked on charges of causing death due to negligence and under various sections of The Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
The police have so far identified 11 bodies. Three unidentified bodies have been kept at Oxford Medical College Hospital in Attibele. A team from the Forensic Science Laboratory will carry out DNA tests to ascertain their identity, said the police.
Of the seven injured, three people, including Naveen Reddy, have suffered severe burn injuries and internal burn injuries due to inhalation of smoke. They are admitted to St. John’s Medical College Hospital. The other four are being treated at Oxford Medical College Hospital.
Officials from the fire and safety department said that large quantities of firecrackers had been stored in the shop without following safety guidelines.
KA Dayanand, the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban), said the shop did not have a permit to store firecrackers. “The owner has violated the license conditions and stored more than 1,000 kilos of firecrackers,” he said. “The licensing authority has not permitted anyone to store crackers.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the Criminal Investigation Department will probe the accident, reported Deccan Herald.
“From what I have seen, no safety measures were followed,” said Siddaramaiah. “No fire extinguishers were kept. It is a very congested area. The godown has also been extended. It needs to be checked if proper permissions were given. The exact reason is yet to be known.”
The chief minister also stated that none of those who died were permanent employees of the shop. He said that they were students who had come to Bengaluru to earn money during their holidays.
While Karnataka has promised compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the family members of the deceased, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced a cash relief of Rs 3 lakh.
Further, Stalin stated that he has directed the state minister to oversee the treatment requirements of the injured and coordinate steps for their transfer to Tamil Nadu, reported PTI.