Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET
A pair of explosions at a restaurant in the state of Madhya Pradesh, that have apparently been traced to gas cylinders, killed more than 60 people, officials say. Some reports say the death toll is at least 89. Dozens of others were injured.
The Associated Press reports: “A cooking gas cylinder exploded and triggered a second blast of mine detonators stored illegally next to the restaurant, located in the town of Petlawad in Madhya Pradesh state, said Inspector Mewa Lal Gond from the Madhya Pradesh police in the mining district of Jhabua.”
Reuters adds: “The gas cylinder exploded as people were gathering for breakfast at the restaurant in the town of Petlawad in the state of Madhya Pradesh, about 800 km (500 miles) south of New Delhi, Inspector B.L. Gaur told Reuters.”
However, Inspector B.L. Gaur tells Reuters that the restaurant was located near an area which stored explosive “blasting gelatin” used for demolition by construction workers.
“There was a second explosion, there were more casualties,” Gaur said, according to Reuters. He said the explosion was so powerful that it damaged adjacent buildings and ripped out nearby windows.
The AP says:
“Residents were evacuated from several adjoining buildings that were damaged in the blasts, said a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.
“Police struggled to keep hundreds of onlookers and people looking for their relatives away from the site of the explosions, he said. The crowds hampered the movement of ambulances and other emergency vehicles, and officers had to push them back to allow a bulldozer to reach the restaurant.”