Gas cylinder blast kills 80 in central India


NEW DELHI: At least 80 people died when a gas cylinder exploded in a packed restaurant in India’s central Madhya Pradesh state on Saturday morning, shattering surrounding buildings, police said. The death toll rose after rescuers recovered dozens more bodies from the debris of the destroyed restaurant and neighbouring structures. The blast occurred at around 8:30 am (0300 GMT) at the restaurant in the town of Petlawad in Jhabua district, as many office workers and schoolchildren were having breakfast, senior district police official Seema Alava said. Authorities suspected the intensity of the explosion may have been compounded by the storage of dynamite sticks, used for mining, either in the building housing the restaurant or neighbouring building. “It looks like someone had stored those explosives, the ones used in mining, in one of the buildings. But only further investigation will reveal the exact details,” the official said. The restaurant was in a tightly packed area where many people were having breakfast, she said earlier, adding that the blast knocked down a neighbouring building and damaged several others. Agencies


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