Deadly blast: India police intensify hunt for explosives owner

2015-09-14 10:29
People gather around the site of an explosion at a restaurant in Jhabua district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. (STR / AFP)

People gather around the site of an explosion at a restaurant in Jhabua district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. (STR / AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Indian police have offered a reward for the fugitive owner of illegally stored explosives which ripped through a crowded restaurant and killed 88 people after an accidental detonation, an officer said Monday.

Police are hunting for businessman Rajendra Kasawa following Saturday's blast that tore apart the restaurant building complex in Madhya Pradesh state, packed with office workers and schoolchildren eating breakfast.

Scores of labourers waiting at a bus stop outside the complex were also hit by debris from the blast, which destroyed neighbouring buildings in the town of Petlawad.

Eighty-eight people were killed and about 100 injured in the worst such accident in India in recent years.

Kasawa had a licence for the gelignite and other explosives used for digging wells and in the construction and mining industries. But storing them in residential and other densely populated areas is illegal.

Corpses covered in dust and ash

Additional police superintendent Seema Alva said an officer has since been suspended for failing to enforce the laws on storage.

"We have also announced a cash award of 100 000 rupees ($1 500) for anyone who provides any information on the main accused, who is absconding," Alva told AFP.

Kasawa fled the area after the explosion and faces charges of criminal negligence and culpable homicide, police have said.

Television footage on Saturday showed scores of people and rescue workers using their bare hands to shift mangled heaps of steel and concrete from the ruined buildings.

Corpses were covered in dust and ash coated the streets alongside the twisted wreckage of burned-out vehicles.

Read more on:    india

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.