House blast claims six lives in Hakka

YANGON — An explosion at a private home in Hakka, the capital of Chin State, killed six people, including five women, and injured seven others, police said Monday.

The blast, which occurred at 11 pm Sunday, was initially blamed on an accident rather than a deliberate act of violence, Police Lieutenant Than Kyaw Htay from Chin state police station told Frontier in a telephone interview.

“If it was a bomb there would be some evidence, but as of now we don’t see any signs suggesting a bomb,” Than Kyaw Htay said. “There are many illegally imported explosives from India for blasting the rocks in this region. We conclude that the blast was caused by explosives stored in the house,” he added.

Hakha-based journalist Salai Blazar, who arrived this place right after the blast, agreed with the police officer.

“There are a lot of roads under construction and rocks pose a huge barrier for the projects so the locals usually use explosives for blasting the rocks, even though trading and storing of explosives is illegal,” Salai Blazar said.

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“I wuld say the stored amount of the explosives was huge because of the size of the blast,” he told Frontier. “The house in which the blast occurred was totally destroyed,” he added. “And parts of five houses in the vicinity were also damaged.”

Five of the dead were members of the family that lived in the house in which the blast occured, while the sixth was a guest. Neighbors suspected the guest, a woman, had brought the explosives to the house, Salai Blazar said.

“The incident is still under under investigation so we are looking into the details.” Police Lieutenant Than Kyaw Htay said.


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