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Gas leak explosion in Guntur district kills 12
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Gas leak explosion in Guntur district kills 12

9 grievously injured

Twelve persons died and nine were grievously injured in a massive blast that was triggered by a domestic gas in a house that stored two tonnes of explosive material in the thickly populated area of Nadikudi in Guntur district. Unauthorized stock of more than two tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored in a three-portioned house owned by an explosives license holder, B Koteswara Rao at Narayanapuram area of Kadikudi-Dachepalli twin town. The stock caught fire following a gas leak at 9.20am on Monday. He, along with his wife and ten others who went to save them died in the blast.

Twelve bodies were recovered from the debris of the houses. The grievously injured persons were shifted to Government General Hospital in Guntur, six were being treated in Piduguralla and four in Dachepalli hospital for minor injuries. The deceased owner had taken licence to store the explosives in Gamalapadu village near here but alleged to have been storing and selling them from his house for the last ten years.

Hundreds of children on the school premises opposite the school premises of Rao's house escaped unhurt though the concrete slab of the house flew more than 500 meters away and the body of one victim, a girl, landed in the school compound. Another house adjoining Rao's house was completely destroyed and walls of two storied building were badly damaged. The bomb disposal squad were pressed into service to safely remove the explosive material and hundreds of ordinary detonators and fuse wires used in mining activity. SP Shanka Brta Bagchi supervised the rescue and relief operations. The District Collector B Ramanjaneyulu said that Koteswara Rao had renewed his licence in April last year and it was valid upto March 2010. A probe is going on.

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