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JHABUA, Madhya Pradesh (Web Desk) – Over 80 people died and nearly 100 were injured as a powerful gas cylinder explosion ripped through a restaurant near Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district on Saturday.


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According to senior police officials, gelatine sticks used for mining stored in a house next to the restaurant added to the intensity of the blast. As a result, the two-storey building housing the restaurant collapsed and several adjacent buildings suffered damages.

The explosion at Sethiya Restaurant, situated in a residential area near a bus stand in Petlawad, over 300 kms from the state capital, happened around 9 this morning.

People gather around the site of an explosion at a restaurant in Jhabua district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on September 12, 2015. At least 20 people were killed when a gas cylinder exploded in a restaurant in central India early September 12, while 25 people were known to have been injured, a police official said. AFP PHOTO

The death toll rose after rescuers recovered more bodies from the debris of the shattered restaurant and surrounding buildings. As many as 20 of those injured are believed to be in critical condition, the NDTV reported.

“The restaurant was located in a tightly packed locality where a lot of people were having breakfast, that is why the casualties are so high,” senior district police official Seema Alava said.

Another district police official cited the restaurant’s proximity to a busy bus stand as the reason for the high number of casualties.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs2 lakh for the families of those killed and Rs50,000 for those injured.

“The Jhabua tragedy is heart wrenching. I offer my condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” he said.