At the time of the explosion, around 20 workers were on the factory floor.

At least 6 killed after explosion in north Karnataka sugar factory
news Accident Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 14:38

At least six persons were killed and another five were injured on Sunday after an explosion in a sugar distillery in north Karnataka’s Bagalkot district. According to preliminary reports, the factory in Mudhol taluk’s Kulali village is owned by former BJP minister and Bilgi MLA Murugesh Nirani. The cause of the explosion is yet to be known.

The police and emergency response officials have rushed to the spot. Officials of Mudhol Police Station said that the blast occurred somewhere between 12 pm and 12.30 pm. At the time of the accident, around 20 persons were on the factory floor.

In the explosion, the three-storey building collapsed as the boiler exploded. Fire department officials are using cranes and heavy machinery to remove the debris. The death toll is likely to increase.

“So far we have recovered three bodies and four others have been injured,” Bagalkot District Collector Shantaram, who was on his way to the accident spot, told TNM. Later, local police officials at the spot said the death toll had increased to six.

Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the incident.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy directed district officials to shift the injured to hospitals immediately and asked for the site to be inspected to ascertain the cause of the explosion.

"The death of the six people in the blast in the sugar factory is saddening. Bagalkot district officials have been directed to conduct a probe and submit a report. The State government will provide compensation to the deceased's kin," a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said.

This accident occurred just two days after at least 13 people died and another 80 persons continue to be treated after consuming prasad at the Chamarajanagar temple. A Forensic Science Laboratory report is still awaited as the police have arrested two persons for allegedly poisoning the temple offering.

Murugesh Nirani could not be reached for a comment.

Murugesh is reported to be close to BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa. Along with his brothers Hanamantha and Sangamesh, he is an influential person in the BJP and wields considerable power in the region.

Incidentally, Sangamesh, who was denied a ticket by the party, had contested as a result in Jamkhandi seat in the district in the state assembly polls costing the BJP the seat by a narrow margin.

(With IANS inputs)

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