The air in Petlawad, a small town in the tribal Jhabua district, was heavy with the smell of burnt flesh and smoke as 60 pyres were burnt together on the Pampawati riverbank on Saturday.
Relatives and friends of the deceased stood inconsolable at the funeral ground, with tears streaming down their cheeks.
“There is hardly a family in Petlawad, who does not know someone who has died or was injured in the blast,” said Sanjay Jain, who reached the town on Saturday from Ratlam to attend the funeral of his relative Gopal Jain, who died in the blast.
Gopal was opening his shop near the godown where the blast took place and died on the spot.
With shops and markets closed, the town itself wore a forlorn look on the day. At scattered spots, people are seen standing in small groups talking about the tragedy.
A rush was also witnessed outside the local hospital and post-mortem house, where relatives were waiting to identify the dead and claim their bodies.
Many of the victims are from peripheral villages and are poor tribals who had gathered at the bus stand in search for daily jobs.