MP blasts: Toll reaches 88, CM visits site

Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh), Sep 13 (IANS) The toll in the Jhabua twin blasts in Madhya Pradesh reached 88 on Sunday with the death of an injured person while Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited the district to assess the situation.

Police said an FIR has been registered against the house-owner who had allegedly stocked explosives and his warehouse and house have been sealed.

Jhabua’s Additional Superintendent of Police Seema Alwa told IANS: “So far 88 people have died in the incident. The house and godown of explosives’ stockist Rajendra Kaswa have been sealed. A case has been filed against him under the Explosives Act and for causing unintentional death. A search has been launched to locate him.”

As Chouhan was heading towards the blast site after visiting the hospital, protesters blocked his way to demand arrest of the owner of the house and action against the “irresponsible” officials.

Protestors said some of the local residents had repeatedly brought to the notice of the administration the fact that explosives were stocked in the house in the thickly populated area, but no action was taken.

The chief minister told the protestors at the blast site that he has already announced a judicial probe into the blasts, in which over 100 people have been left wounded.

Chouhan assured the crowd that the judicial probe would be conducted fairly, and even if it took Rs.10 lakh to get the injured treated, the funds would be provided. He said no guilty person would be allowed to escape.

“I will go among the affected families and have a look at their condition. They would be provided anything they need. I will return from Petalwad town only after solving the problem,’ the chief minister said.

A cylinder burst at a hotel in Petlawad town was followed by a massive blast that ripped through an adjoining building in the town on Saturday.

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