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Blast at Bengaluru forensic science laboratory: Six injured

Published Nov 30, 2019, 2:19 am IST
Updated Nov 30, 2019, 2:19 am IST
Material seized from Raichur last year explodes during test.
Police forces at the Forensic Science Laboratory after a blast, at Madiwala in Bengaluru on Friday. (Photo: DC)
 Police forces at the Forensic Science Laboratory after a blast, at Madiwala in Bengaluru on Friday. (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Five scientists and an attendant at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Madiwala in the city sustained injuries on Friday after an explosion during the chemical analysis of material seized in Raichur last year.

The explosion occurred at the Chemistry Lab on the first floor of the FSL building around 3 pm while the scientists were analysing the chemical. The injured were rushed to St. John's Hospital where they are undergoing treatment.


According to sources, a chemical reaction is suspected to have triggered the blast while the scientists were testing the explosive material seized from a blast site in Yarmaras on the outskirts of Raichur city on October 5, 2018.

The injured scientists have been identified as Srinath (36) from Kolar, Navya (29), Basavaprabhu (27), Vishwanatha Reddy (33) and Manjunath Babbalakatti (33). The lab attendant was identified as Anthony. Srinath is said to be critical after sustaining injuries on the head, hands and upper torso. The police said that the six injured included new recruits and trainees.


Fire and Emergency Services personnel from the Jayanagar station rushed to the spot around 3.15 pm. Though there was no fire after the explosion, the officials cleaned the combustible powder scattered all over the lab's floor to ensure it does not catch fire.

While preliminary investigation revealed that a chemical reaction or mishandling of the explosive material triggered the blast, the police said that the exact reason for the explosion could only be ascertained after a thorough investigation.

A similar incident was reported from IISc Bengaluru on December 5, 2018 when a blast during an experiment at the Hypersonic and Shockwave Research Laboratory claimed the life of a 32-year-old engineer, Manoj Kumar. Three others were also injured in that incident.


Decoration material used for functions exploded
The material that the scientists were testing at the FSL included Polyester Resins (PR), PVA foam, chalk powder, pigments and CSM powder which are used by decorators at functions, Dr. C.B. Vedamurthy, Superintendent of Police, Raichur district, told Deccan Chronicle.

The exploded material was part of the evidence collected from the blast site and sent to FSL in Bengaluru on October 15, 2018 for chemical analysis, he said.

The leftover material after decoration at a function was abandoned at a vacant land in Yarmaras.  A 32-year-old woman ragpicker, Anantamma, who found the packet, picked it up and shook it triggering an explosion, which killed her on the spot. Her husband Lakshman and son Ramu sustained injuries.


Following the incident, the Raichur Rural police had arrested Virendra Joshi and Arun Joshi of Gajanana Decorators.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru