At least seven persons were killed and four others sustained injuries in an explosion that occurred at a mining area in Sonbhadra district’s Obra on Thursday afternoon.
Police said the explosion took place at a magazine — a makeshift safe house where explosive materials are stored — at Ras Pahari mining area in Obra. A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident. An FIR alleging negligence in handling explosive substances has also been registered against unidentified persons. Prima facie, no sabotage led to the incident, said police.
“The injured have been taken to the hospital. Nobody is believed to be buried under the debris. However, a search and rescue operation is going on,” Sonbhadra SP Shiv Shankar Yadav said.
He added that labourers, supervisors and those handling the magazine and explosives were among the dead and the injured. “Labourers, who were cooking food at some distance from the place, were injured in the explosion,” said Yadav.
The SP added that the person who had the contract to hold mining operations in the area had a valid licence for keeping explosive materials and undertaking mining activities. “However, it is evident that there has been some negligence, which led to the explosion. Appropriate legal action will be taken following investigations,” said Yadav.
“Probable causes might include a spark from a nearby generator. Sometimes, such places can get charged up even by cellphone radiation. Only an expert analysis can establish the exact cause for the explosion,” he added.