Short Takes

Cylinder blast in MP kills over 100

It was the day of death on Saturday. More than 100 people were killed and an equal number of people injured when a cooking gas cylinder exploded in a restaurant in the town of Petlawad in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. The explosion occurred at morning peak time when office-goers and schoolchildren were having breakfast. Police attributed the high number of casualties to the fire triggered by the blast that spread to neighbouring buildings fast. Police suspect either the restaurant or an adjacent building might have been used to store detonators and gelatin sticks which added fuel to the fire.

In another accident, two people were killed and eight injured when Secunderabad-Mumbai A�Duranto Express derailed at Martur village near Kalburgi in Karnataka early Saturday morning.

Haj as usual despite Mecca tragedy

Saudi Arabia is going ahead with arrangements for the annual Muslim pilgrimage Haj that is expected to begin on September 21. Some doubts about the Haj were expressed on Friday after a crane crashed at Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca killing 107 people and injuring about 200. Authorities announced on Saturday that pilgrims could perform their rituals as usual. Heavy winds during a rain storm were blamed for the crane collapse. Two Indians were among those killed while 15 others were injured.

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