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Gelatin sticks go off, kill 3 at Satara windmill site

An explosion of gelatin sticks stocked by a wind farm company to level the earth in Bothe village off the Dahiwadi-Pusegaon Road in Maan taluka in Satara district Friday killed three workers and injured eight others.

The gelatin sticks to be used to flatten uneven ground for setting up windmills went off, police said. They suspect that a spark from burning garbage at a nearby garbage dump had ignited the gelatin sticks.

Three workers, Sandeep Uttam Mane (35), Shashikant Kulkarni (40) and Dadasaheb Ramchandra Jagdale (52) died in the explosion. Eight others injured in the explosion were being treated for major burns in hospitals in Satara where they were shifted from a primary health centre.

Satara police and agencies including the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) visited the blast site. Police said the explosion created a trench about 15 feet deep. Some construction material stored in a makeshift shelter near the spot was damaged.

The explosion shattered windows in nearby villages and created panic.

The family members of the three deceased refused to accept the bodies until the company assured them compensation. The relatives of the injured also demanded compensation.

An offence has been registered at Dahiwadi police station and police are trying to find out the exact reason why the gelatin sticks went off and whether there was any negligence on the part of the company concerned.