Bhopal: As the death toll in the Jhabua restaurant blast has crossed over 85, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday visited the site to access the situation.
Amid protest by the locals against district administration, Chouhan took the stock of the situation and announced Rs 10 lakh compensation for the victims' families.
Addressing the media, Singh assured legal action in the incident, stating, “We will not spare the culprits at any cost. We have decided for judicial investigation into the matter which will be monitored by High Court judge.”
Before leaving for Jhabua, Chouhan told ANI, "I'm deeply saddened by the incident at Petlawad. Couldn't sleep the whole night. Going to the site to meet the families of the victims. We'll make sure such incidents don't repeat in future."
Meanwhile, all residences and godowns of Rajendra Kasawa (owner of godown where explosives were stored) have been sealed off.
Furthermore, case has been registered against Rajendra Kasawa under 3/4 explosives act and section 304 of IPC.
“Case registered against Rajendra Kaswa who is absconding after the explosion. Explosives were found in a godown owned by him,” ANI quoted SDOP Abdul Rasheed Khan as saying.
The injured in the blast are being given medical treatment in hospital.
At least 89 people were killed when a cooking gas cylinder blew up in a crowded restaurant in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, triggering a second blast of mining detonators stored illegally nearby, police said.
The explosions tore through the restaurant as labourers sat down for breakfast during the morning rush hour in the town of Petlawad, about 800 km (500 miles) south of New Delhi, Inspector Mewa Lal Gaur told Reuters.
Gaur said people who had gathered outside the restaurant after the initial blast were caught in a second explosion when gelatin sticks stored in a nearby building caught light, blew up and buried scores of people as the roof caved in.
"When the first blast took place in the gas cylinder many people collected there to watch and see what had happened. Then there was a secondary blast," Gaur said, adding the explosion was so powerful it damaged adjacent buildings and ripped out nearby windows.
Bodies lay amid the rubble of the collapsed restaurant, which was located next to a busy junction, and twisted motorcycles and debris were strewn outside, as a crowd of onlookers searched for survivors.
Police said the death toll had risen throughout the day as rescue workers continued to pull bodies from under the rubble, but that they had now recovered all the dead and injured from the scene.
Arun Sharma, a local medical officer, said 87 people had been killed. Around 100 people were also injured in the blast, and 15 of them were in a serious condition, he said.
The accident is one the deadliest to hit India in recent years.
"This is a tragic incident, which has shook me. The causes of the incident will be investigated," Madhya Pradesh`s chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told local television channels.
Chouhan has announced 200,000 rupees ($3,000) in compensation for the families of those killed and 50,000 for those injured, media reported.
Gaur said the detonators, which are used for construction activity, mining and digging wells, should not have been kept in the room near to the restaurant and it was illegal to do so even if the owner was given a licence.
The district surrounding Petlawad is home to a number of manganese and bauxite mines.
(With Agency inputs)