The Andhra Pradesh police have made one more arrest in connection with their ongoing probe into the limestone quarry explosion in Kadapa district on Saturday that left 10 persons dead. Police arrested YS Pratap Reddy an owner of mining operations from Kadapa district who is reportedly related to Member of Parliament from Kadapa, YS Avinash Reddy and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Pratap was arrested and produced in front of a court on Tuesday.
District Superintendent of Police, Anburajan, said that Pratap Reddy was arrested on charges of contravention of the laws on transportation of explosive substances, as no safety protocols were observed during transportation of the gelatin sticks.
The mishap had occurred on Saturday near Mamillapalle village in Kalasapadu mandal when the labourers were unloading gelatin sticks from a vehicle for using them at a limestone quarry. The gelatin sticks, which were allegedly transported from Pulivendula to the quarry, were traced back to Pratap Reddy who holds a magazine licence for explosives.
Police sources said that Pratap Reddy has mining operations of his own in the areas adjoining Pulivendula, Lingala and Simhadripuram, and is authorised to use explosives for mining operations. On Monday, the police had arrested the limestone quarry manager Nageswar Reddy and one of his employees Raghunatha Reddy in connection with the case.
SP Anburajan said the explosions took place when gelatine sticks were being unloaded from a car. He said that nearly a thousand gelatin sticks had been transported from the Pulivendula town to the limestone quarry located near Mamillapalle village.
Following the incident, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Mines and Geology Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy had said in a statement that an inquiry committee had been constituted to conduct a detailed probe into the incident.
In the statement, he said that the committee will be headed by Kadapa district Joint Collector (Revenue) and also cited a preliminary report submitted by the Kadapa District Collector and said that negligence on part of the mine operator while unloading the explosive material (gelatin sticks) caused the explosion.
(with PTI/IANS inputs)