14 burnt alive in cracker shop blast near Attibele;Rs.5 Lakh Compensation Announced; fire mishap case will be handed over to CID: Karnataka CM

Pramesh S Jain & Dr.Thomas (Special Correspondent)


arnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has said that the firecracker shop accident case that killed 14 people in Attibele will be handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

He also said that the cracker store doesn’t hold a valid licence to run the shop and assured an action against all those involved.

Karnataka Chief Minister,Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar along with the senior police officials visited the accident spot to take stock of the situation.

Addressing the media he said that considering the magnitude of the case,the fire mishap investigations wil lbe handed over to CID for a detailed probe.

Terming negligence on part of the Ramaswamy Reddy, owner of balaji crackers he said that the bad design of the godown and no safety measures led to the mishap.

The victims will be given compensation of Rs.5 lakh and also taken care of the medical treatment of the victims,he said that the accused Ramaswamy, his son Naveen Reddy and Anil reddy owner of the building, have been arrested on the charges of negligence,and culpable homicide amounting to murder.

The authorities concerned will be directed to conduct fire and safety audit on all the cracker shops and establishments dealing with crackers to prevent any untoward incidents in future,he said.

Fourteen people were charred to death,and four others were injured in an explosion during the unloading of firecrackers at a shop at the Attibele border on Saturday (Oct.7) afternoon.

The driver of the truck and the owner of the shop, identified as Ramaswamy Reddy,were injured in the fire accident and were admitted to hospital along with others.

There were around 20 people working in the godown, and some of them were missing at the time of publishing this news item.

The search is now on to trace them,”Mallikarjuna Baladandi,Superintendent of Police,Bengaluru District, said.A majority of the workers were from Amnapettai, Kallakurichi district of Tamilnadu.

With Deepavali around the corner,workers had arrived from here.An estimated Rs.5 crore worth of firecrackers were housed in the shops,which were in the vicinity of a liquor store.

Nine fire tenders,along with the Attibele police and local residents,joined in the operation for about 19 hours to put out the fire.

Several vehicles parked adjacent to the godown were also gutted.The explosion was so loud that people in the adjacent shops and residential buildings rushed out.

While the FSL is yet to ascertain what led to the accident,it is suspected that a spark from an electric wire in the godown led to the fire.

The police officials are waiting to question the injured to learn more.The police are also checking whether the shop has all valid NOCs in place.

The fire,which started around 2.30 p.m,was put out after 19 hours operation as over 100 personnel from the fire and emergency services and the police were worked to contain it.

Shops and houses around the area were evacuated during the operations,and the entire area was cordoned off.The police also diverted traffic moving on the highway as the scene of accident was close to the road.