“Investigations have revealed that the explosion took place because of firecrackers being illegally transported on the bus. The people who were transporting these firecrackers are now in police custody,” home minister RR Patil said on Sunday.
Sources said the people transporting the crackers had tied them in a piece of cloth which may have caught fire because of a beedi or because of overheating.
The firecrackers, the police suspect were being transported either to be used during a wedding or to be given to farmers to drive away wild pigs that destroy their farms.
After the blast, Latur police and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) were immediately dispatched to the spot and the injured were taken to Latur Civil Hospital where 15 people were treated for injuries.
Teams of police officers from the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) from Mumbai, Pune, Nanded and Aurangabad rushed to Latur and began investigations into the incident.