By Chandini Monnappa and Sethuraman N R
BENGALURU, Jan.22 (Reuters) – At least five miners were killed in southern India when their trucks carrying explosives exploded, officials said on Friday. Local media said the toll could be higher.
Workers were carrying gelatin sticks commonly used as an explosive material in stone quarries, a senior police official said at the crash site in Shivamogga district in Karnataka state.
News18 said the death toll could reach 11.
Karnataka, home to Bengaluru’s technology hub, has vast mineral deposits and stone quarries, but the safety of miners remained a concern.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yedyurappa said five people have been confirmed dead and three people, including the owner of the quarry, have been arrested and an investigation is underway.
“Saddened by the loss of life in Shivamogga … the state government is providing all possible assistance to those affected,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a Twitter post.