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India restaurant blast kills 90

14 September 2015

Some 90 people were reported killed in a powerful explosion at a restaurant in Petlawad in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials said on September 12. It was packed with workers and schoolchildren eating breakfast when a cooking gas cylinder exploded, causing explosives illegally stored nearby to detonate. At least 35 people are in hospital with injuries from the blast.

Stock image
Stock image

The explosives were mining detonators which were stored illegally in a room next to the restaurant, officials said.

The blast knocked down a neighbouring building and damaged several others. Police are looking for Rajendra Kashawa, a contractor accused of illegally storing the detonators.

Petlawad is in Jhabua district, where there are several manganese and bauxite mines and, according to local sources, many mine workers are hired on contract from the town, which is about 850km south of the capital, New Delhi.

The state's Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, had to face about 50 angry protesters when he visited the site of the explosion. The protesters voiced complaints that local authorities had failed to enforce safety regulations, some saying they had earlier complained to Petlawad town authorities about Kashawa illegally storing explosives in the building, but that no action was taken against him, according to a local television channel.

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