3 Odias among 14 killed in Andhra Pradesh Stone Quarry Blast

Bhubaneswar/Vijayawada: The death toll in the explosion at the stone quarry in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district rose to 14 with police today claiming that three of the deceased labourers are from Odisha.

Of the three, two have been identified as Durjyadhana Nahak and Manoranjan Nahak of Bandhatala Nuagaon village under Rambha police limits of Ganjam district while the identity of the third worker is yet to be ascertained.

As per sources, the incident took place in Hathi Belgal village in Alur block of Kurnool district and as many as 20 workers belonging to Odisha were believed to be in a shed when the blast occurred.

Among six others undergoing treatment at the Kurnool Government Hospital, three workers are Odias and have been identified as Pandab Bahak of Bada Gunjar village, Ramchandra of Bichanabala village and Rejendra of Rambha area in Ganjam district.

As per latest reports, 13 more workers are still believed to be trapped inside. Sources said a two-member fact finding team from Odisha led by labour officer of Ganjam district left for Kurnool today.

Odisha Labour Minister, Sushant Singh said, “I have directed our department secretary to look into it and a team has already left for Andhra Pradesh. We are discussing with the Andhra Pradesh Labour Commission to facilitate the treatment of Odias there. This apart, bodies of the deceased workers will be handed over to their families. We are making provisions to provide compensation to their families while the expense of the treatment of the injured will also be borne by us.”

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against owner of the stone mine Srinibas Choudhury, who is stated to be a TDP leader.

Sources further claimed that a fire which broke out with the blast engulfed the shed and destroyed three tractors, one lorry and two sheds. The blast also damaged a few houses near the quarry, sources said.

The exact cause of the blast would be ascertained after the probe, Kurnool District Collector S Satyanarayana had said, adding, a detailed investigation has been launched.