At least six people were killed after a truckload of explosives, suspected to be meant for mining, exploded in the South Indian town of Shimoga.
The sound of the blast, which was initially thought to be an earthquake, was heard in neighbouring Davangere, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada districts.
In Shivamogga, the effect was severe as some houses developed cracks, roof tiles and window panes shattered into pieces.
The vehicle was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition.
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that prima facie it seems a lot of dynamite exploded at the spot of the accident.
“There’s been some negligence by the quarry owner and the operators. Police have already arrested the quarry owner and the dynamite supplier. Probe is on,” he said.
Officails have not ruled out the possibility of the death toll increasing. Local media and agencies have reported the death toll to be as high as 15.
“There are rumours that at least 10 to 15 people have died. Let the police complete their investigation,” Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K B Shivakumar said.