MP: House explosion leaves 35 dead, over 50 injured

At least 35 people were killed while more than 50 others sustained burn injuries in a massive explosion that ripped through a house and swallowed up a nearby restaurant in a posh locality at Petlavad in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district, police said.

The blast occurred in the house at around 0800 hrs.

A nearby restaurant -- where people were having morning tea and breakfast -- was also engulfed by the flames.

Gas cylinders kept in the restaurant also exploded. A few nearby houses were also destroyed in the ensuing blaze. Some people were also buried under debris.

According to preliminary information, the house is owned by a Rathore family, which had given one portion to a firm on rent for conducting its business operations. The firm concerned had stored detonators and other explosive material -- believed to be meant for use for mining purposes.

Police confirmed that more than one blast took place. Nearby residents and police plunged into relief and rescue operations. The injured were rushed to hospitals in Petlavad, Jhabua, nearby districts Ratlam and Indore and neighbouring state Gujarat’s Dahod district. State Home Minister Babulal Gaur said an investigation has been ordered into the matter and strict action would be taken against the guilty.

Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the deceased’s kin and financial assistance of Rs 50,000 each to the injured. He directed the district administration to focus on relief and rescue operations and ensure better treatment to the injured.

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