Gelatin blast kills two

Gelatin blast kills two

Devastating: The body of victim  Arunkumar (inset) wrapped in a plastic sheet at Chikaveeranapalya in Tavarekere on the outskirts of City on Monday. dh photo

The victims are Arun Kumar (22), an ITI diploma holder from Tavarekere  and Yelumalai (33), a native of Shankarpuram district, Tamil Nadu.

Police said the victims were working for a land developing firm, Raynal Realtors. The firm had bagged the contract of developing an 80-acre area in Chikkaveeranapalya.
Levelling works were under progress and while forming 40' feet roads, rocks were found in between. The firm acquired the gelatin sticks to blast the rocks and level the area.

Arun bought the gelatin sticks from Balakrishna, a licensed detonator dealer in the neighbouring Cholanayakanahalli and carried the consignment on a moped. He landed at the site at about 3.50 pm and met Yelumalai. As they were talking, the blast occurred. Ravi, a writer with the firm was at a distance but suffered major injuries.
He was admitted to a nearby hospital.

Eyewitness account

“We heard a loud noise, followed by a thick smoke and within seconds we saw the bodies being thrown out. The impact of the blast was so high that Arun's body was torn apart and was found 100 meters away from the blast spot while Yelumalai's body was blown off in a different direction, almost same distance,” said an eye witness. The moped was reduced to ashes.

Sources said that for the last few weeks, the firm regularly purchased gelatin sticks and used it in layout formation work.

The exact reason for the explosion is yet to be ascertained. However, experts are of the opinion that the sticks were kept in the space above the engine, next to the petrol tank and due to the engine heat and rising temperature, the sticks might have exploded. The other reason is that sparks emitting from the engine while it was being turned off could have ignited the gelatin sticks.

Tavarekere police said the land  belonged to a retired colonel, M S Khairya. Statements of engineers Guruprasad and Raghu who were at the site are to be recorded. Cases of negligence and violations of the Explosive Act have been registered.

Gadgets recovered

The HSR Layout police arrested Bhaskar Reddy (34), a habitual thief and recovered laptops and gadgets worth around Rs 5.5 lakh. During interrogations, Bhaskar, a native of Andhra Pradesh, had confessed to the crime. He had targeted PG accommodations of software engineers in BTM Layout, Madiwala and HSR Layout areas. After careful observation, he managed to sneak into their houses and stole expensive gadgets. Incidentally, majority of the stolen gadgets belonged to women software engineers, police added.

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