A researcher was killed and three people were severely injured after an accidental explosion in a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Chief Security Officer MR Chandrasekhar said the explosion took place around 2.20 pm in the hypersonic and superwave research laboratory belonging to Super-wave Technology Private Limited.

Manoj Kumar, a native of Hyderabad, died in the explosion. Naresh Kumar, Atulya and Kartik were injured and have been taken to MS Ramaiah Hospital for treatment.

The cause of the explosion is not clear. “There are gases like hydrogen, oxygen, helium stored in cylinders in the laboratory and it is possible that one of these cylinders may have caused the explosion,” said Chandrashekar. “Forensic experts are coming and they will be able to find out the cause of the accident.”

Chandrashekar said that a First Information Report has been filed at the Sadashiv Nagar police station and the families of the deceased and injured have been informed.

Super-wave Technology’s website says it is an initiative of the Indian Institute of Science. The start-up is promoted and managed by KPJ Reddy and G Jagadeesh – both professors of Department of Aerospace Engineering at IISc.

“This is a very unfortunate incident,” said Chandrashekhar. “This is the first time an accident like this has happened in the history of the institute.”