Indian police said on Sunday that the explosion that killed over 90 people in a restaurant a day before was triggered in a shop next to the restaurant, where a large amount of explosives were illegally stored.
Police have earlier said that a gas cylinder in the restaurant exploded triggering the larger blast next door in the town of Petlawad in Madhya Pradesh state.
“It was the other way around. The explosives in the building exploded first... extreme heat sparked a urea nitrate chemical reaction and then that was it. Everything went off after that," senior police official Seema Alava told AFP by phone.
The owner of the shop where the explosives were stored, Rajendra Kasawa, is on the run since the explosion and has been booked by the police culpable homicide and unlawful possession of explosives, the police said.
Alava said Kasawa had permission to store the material including urea, gelatine sticks, detonators and other explosives used for digging wells for his mine business.
However, the suspect stored the explosives “in an unauthorised way in a residential area,” Alava added.
The explosion destroyed the building, housing, the shop and the restaurant, as well as damaging nearby buildings.
Locals protested Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who visited Petlawad after the explosion.
People demanded the immediate arrest of the shop owner who stored the explosives.
Protesters claimed that the authorities are overlooking mine operators who store explosives in unsuitable conditions and demanded stricter security measures.