AP govt announces ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh each to kin of 10 killed in blast

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday announced payment of ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the 10 workers killed in an explosion at a limestone mine in Kadapa district on May 8.

Minister for Mines and Geology P R C Reddy said in a statement that an inquiry committee has been constituted with Kadapa district Joint Collector (Revenue) as the head to conduct a detailed probe into the mishap.

Citing a preliminary report submitted by the Kadapa district Collector, the Mines Minister said negligence on part of the mine operator while unloading the explosive material (gelatin sticks) caused the explosion.

While one C Kasturibai secured the mining lease in 2001 till November 1, 2021, it was being operated by C Nageswara Reddy under a general power of attorney since December 2013.

“Rules and procedures were not followed while unloading the explosive material. Hence, we will take action against the mine operator as per the mining laws, Reddy said.

The mine operator would also be made to pay additional compensation to the victims’ families as per the Labour Act, the minister added.

He said operators of other mines were being alerted to ensure all safety measures to prevent such blasts in future.

Ten workers were killed in the explosion when gelatin sticks were being unloaded at the limestone mine on the outskirts of Mamillapalli village on Saturday.

Only six victims were identified so far as the bodies of other victims remained mutilated, according to police.

A criminal case has already been registered against Nageswara Reddy after the accident.