Cases have been registered against a man for illegally storing explosives in a residential area that triggered powerful blasts on Saturday and killed 104 people in Petlawad.
Police officials said that a tenant of the godown, Rajendra Kasawa, had the license to own gelatin sticks but it was illegal to store the explosives in a residential area.
Kasawa has been booked under 304 A of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and under Section 34 of the Explosives Act. All deaths have been registered under Section 174 of CrPC.
More than 100 people were killed and about 150 injured when a massive blast triggered by mining explosives ripped through a packed restaurant in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.
Witnesses first heard a small blast in a godown where gelatine sticks were stored just minutes before the powerful explosion tore through the building and the nearby restaurant in the town of Petlawad, reducing them to rubble and leaving dozens buried under the debris.
Soon after the blast, bodies covered in dust and ash lay in the streets alongside the twisted wreckage of burned vehicles while television footage showed scores of people and rescue workers using their bare hands to shift mangled heaps of steel and concrete of the ruined buildings.
Sunil Bhandari, a witness, said he was out for a morning stroll when he heard the booming sound.
“Initially we were unable to gauge the intensity of the explosion as we had seen such kind of blasts only in movies. But the situation got clear about five to 10 minutes later when we saw a large number of bodies and injured lying on the road. The explosion had reduced three buildings and a restaurant to rubble and left many bloodied and wounded,” Bhandari said.
Police and government officials said the casualties were high because the blast occurred at around 8:30am when many office workers and schoolchildren were having breakfast at the restaurant. A large number of labourers waiting at a crowded bus stop in close proximity was another reason for the high death toll.