Ajmer (Web Desk): At least 18 people were killed in massive explosion at Indian wedding, local media reported.
Rescuers discovered nine more bodies Sunday beneath the ruins of a hotel, bringing the known death toll from the explosion to 18, an official said.
A gas cylinder exploded late Friday (Feb 15) at the hotel in the city of Beawar, in the western state of Rajasthan, reducing the venue to ruins and sparking a huge fire.
By Saturday evening officials said nine bodies had been found. But the figure rose sharply Sunday as rescue teams, aided by the army, found nine more victims including women and children under rubble.
"So far 18 bodies have been recovered," said Gaurav Goyal, a senior administrative official in Ajmer, the district where the blast occurred, about 200km from the state capital Jaipur.
Recovery teams were sifting through mangled heaps of concrete and steel, removing victims on stretchers covered with white sheets.
The blast all but levelled the three-storey hotel where a wedding was underway. Eyewitnesses told local broadcaster NDTV the explosion occurred as a chef tried to refill a cooking canister.