Death toll in India restaurant explosion rises to 85

Police say death toll reaches 85, following gas cylinder explosion at restaurant in central India

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The blast occured at around 8:30am local time at a restaurant where dozens of office workers and schoolchildren were having breakfast.

The number of deaths have reached to at least 85 people after a gas cylinder exploded early on Saturday at a restaurant in India’s Madhya Pradesh region.

The initial death toll was 20 people, but police discovered many more bodies in the restaurant, as well as in the nearby buildings which were also affected.

"Earlier we thought it was 104 based on various reports coming to us but now our own official information says 85 confirmed deaths," M. L. Gond, an inspector in charge of Jhabua's police control room, told AFP.

As AFP reports, some 100 people were injured and taken to the hospital.

According to senior district police official Seema Alava, the restaurant was full of school children and office employees.

The local authorities are investigating the incident, as the reason for the blast was not immediately clear.

“It looks like someone had stored those explosives, the ones used in mining, in one of the buildings. But only further investigation will reveal the exact details,” Alava told AFP.    

The high number of deaths is due to the generally busy bus stop located near the area.

"The Jhabua tragedy is heart wrenching. I offer my condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured," Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Twitter.

Chouhan said the families of the victims will be compensated with 200,000 rupees ($3,020) to the families of the dead and 50,000 rupees ($755) for those injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expessed his condolences through twitter as well.

"Extremely pained at the loss of lives due to the cylinder blast in Jhabua," he said.


TRTWorld and agencies