Electricity transformer blast kills 14 people in India

A worker levels a salt pan near electricity pylons in Mumbai, India, on Jan 16, 2017.
A worker levels a salt pan near electricity pylons in Mumbai, India, on Jan 16, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (BERNAMA) - The death toll in a transformer blast in India's western state of Rajasthan on Wednesday (Nov 1) rose to 14, China's Xinhua news agency reported officials as saying.

Seven people are undergoing treatment in hospital after the explosion.

The blast took place on Tuesday in Khatloi village of Shahpura, near Jaipur city, the capital of Rajasthan.

According to officials, the transformer blasted while people had assembled for a marriage function.

"The poorly maintained transformer exploded yesterday, killing four on the spot and injuring 17 others," a local government official said. "Though the injured were taken to SMS hospital, more than 10 people succumbed to their injuries during the night, taking death toll to 14."

The cause of the blast was being ascertained.

State Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has announced a high-level inquiry and expressed grief and shock over the deaths.

Locals said the transformer exploded at around 3.30pm (local time), while pre-wedding functions and rituals were taking place inside a house and guests were assembling outside.

"Women were busy singing folk songs for the wedding and children and elders were standing outside the house when suddenly an explosion took place," a local resident, Mr Bhola Ram, said.

"The blast spewed hot oil due to which several people, mostly women suffered severe burn injuries."

The tragedy triggered protests by locals against the government and electricity department.