New Delhi: At least eight people were killed after a dynamite blast took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility in Shivamogga town of Karnataka on Thursday. The explosion occurred around 10.30 pm, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.Also Read - Karnataka: Three Minors Among Seven Killed As Cruiser Rams Into Tree In Dharwad District

As per the reports of news agency PTI, the victims were reportedly transporting the explosives meant for mining when the explosion occurred. The vehicle was badly mangled and the bodies of the victims were dismembered beyond recognition. Also Read - Karnataka Government To Provide Free Bus Passes For SC And ST Children

Senior district and police officials including the superintendent of police of Shivamogga have rushed to the spot. Also Read - AIIMS In Karnataka: What We Know So Far

Speaking to reporters, an eye-witness said that the blast was so strong that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks.

As the jolt was mistaken to have been caused by an earthquake, geologists were contacted, who ruled out recording tremors in any of their observatories. “There was no earthquake. But an explosion did take place at Hunsur on the outskirts of Shivamogga under the Rural Police station limits,” a police officer told PTI.

PM Expresses Grief

Condoling the deaths, Prime Minister Modi said,”Pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover soon. The State Government is providing all possible assistance to the affected.”

CM Yediyurappa Orders Probe

“A high-level probe into this unfortunate incident has been ordered and strict action will be taken against the culprits”, tweeted Karanataka Chief Minister.