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13 Killed, 21 Injured in Explosion

April 29, 1992

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Chemicals being unloaded from a pickup truck in New Delhi accidentally exploded today, killing 13 people, police said.

Police Commissioner Mukund Bihari Kaushal said the blast and subsequent fire also injured 21 people and destroyed three buildings in Naya Bazaar, a residential and business district in the capital.

″The strength of the blast was equal to thousands of kilograms of explosives. It is negligent and accidental,″ he said. ″In one burst everything was finished.″

The police chief said drums of chemicals were being unloaded in front of a building in the district, and were intended for delivery to a transport company.

He said police did not know what the chemicals were, but ruled out a bomb attack.

Twisted steel, smouldering furniture, kitchenware and blackened bricks and concrete blocks formed a heap at the site of the blast.

He said more bodies might be trapped in the debris. The dead - five women, six men and two children - either lived or worked in the destroyed buildings.

Three bomb explosions during the last seven days in New Delhi have killed one person and injured more than 20. Sikh militants or Kashmiri guerrillas are suspected.

Sikhs are fighting for a separate nation in the northern state of Punjab and Muslim rebels want independence for Kashmir from India.

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