The Andhra Pradesh police have arrested two persons in connection with the massive explosion that killed 10 workers at a limestone quarry in Kadapa district. Speaking to the media on Monday, district Superintendent of Police KKN Anburajan said that one of the mine owners, Nageswar Reddy, and a worker named Raghunatha Reddy have been arrested in connection with the explosions that occurred on May 8, leaving 10 people dead.
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.
The police officer said that their probe has revealed that the mine owners did not have the requisite permission to transport the explosives. The limestone quarry owners had also begun mining without obtaining the requisite permissions, Anburajan said. The district police plan to take some more people into custody for interrogation, he said.
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 ten workersâ€™ bodies were badly mutilated due to the blast.
The state government had announced the initiation of a high-level inquiry into the incident on May 9. Andhra Pradesh Minister for Mines and Geology Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said the inquiry committee will be headed by Kadapa district Joint Collector (Revenue).
According to reports, a person named C Kasturibai secured the mining lease in 2001 till November 1, 2021. However, the limestone mine was being operated by C Nageswara Reddy under a general power of attorney since December 2013.
The state government announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the workers killed in the blast. The mine operator would also be made to pay additional compensation to the victims' families as per the Labour Act, Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy had said.
With IANS inputs