At least 35 people were killed and 80 others injured in a gas cylinder explosion at a restaurant in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh Saturday, a senior police official said.
Scores of people were injured when the roof of the building caved in with the force of the explosion in Petlawad town in Madhya Pradesh state.
It is being said that there were explosives in the building following which the blast happened.
Police said more people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
Police said the death toll had risen throughout the day as rescue workers continued to pull bodies from under the rubble.
Bodies covered in dust and ash lay in the streets alongside the twisted wreckage of burned vehicles.
TV visuals showed the enormity of the blasts, with nearby buildings suffering extensive damage.
The first blast took place at around 8.30 a.m.in Petlavad area near the New Bus stand.
“This is a tragic incident, which has shook me”.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh (US$3,019) each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 (US$754) for those injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the victims’ families on Twitter. However, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur said that the blast took place due to cylinder explosion.
But although reports of fatal accidents from cylinder blasts are frequent, mass casualties are unusual.