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3 die as gelatin sticks explode in Satara

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KOLHAPUR: Three men were killed and six others injured after gelatin sticks kept for road construction work exploded at a windmill site in Satara district on Friday. The intensity of the blast was such that a five-foot ditch was created at the spot.

Abhinav Deshmukh, superintendent of police, Satara district, said, “It appears to be a case of negligence as the private company had kept the gelatin sticks in a temporary tin shed. Besides creating a ditch, the blast completely damaged the shed.”

The blast occurred on a barren hillock in Bothe village of Mann tehsil in Satara district where the company, Bothe Wind Farms Pvt Ltd, had purchase a piece of land for erecting a windmill. The gelatin sticks were kept in the shed on the hillock.

Deshmukh said the sticks were to be used for cracking rock patches that become a hurdle in road construction. “Windmill companies need to construct high-quality roads that can bear the heavy load of its blades and other material. This company has a licence for ‘shot-firer’, which means it has to use gelatin sticks on the same day they are brought to the site. An inspection revealed that the company had no proper storage facility for the sticks. A case is being filed against the company at the Dahiwadi police station in Satara,” he said.

Deshmukh said the blast occurred at 11 am when some eight men were at the site. “The intensity of the blast was such that houses near the site developed cracks in their walls. The villagers said the blast was followed by minor tremors. Smoke from the site was visible from a distance,” he said.

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