Blast in AC unit at a Karnataka jewelry store falsely shared as 'terror attack'

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 7 2024

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Blast in AC unit at a Karnataka jewelry store falsely shared as 'terror attack'

Screenshots of a viral social media post. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Bellary Police confirmed that the explosion was caused by a gas leak in the air-conditioning unit. It was not a 'terror attack' or an IED blast.

Claim ID ce0e78c1

(Trigger warning: This story includes some distressing visuals. Reader discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?

A video depicting smoke at a jewelry store and people carrying an injured person is circulating on social media platforms with the claim it shows an IED (improvised explosive device) blast at a store in Bellary (also spelled Bellari and Ballari) in Karnataka, days after a blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru, also in Karnataka. (On March 1, a blast took place at the Rameshwaram Cafe, injuring at least 10 people. The National Investigative Agency (NIA) is currently investigating the blast.)

One user shared the video (archived here) on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, “Breaking Alerts Bharat There has been an IED blast in the showroom of Kalyan Jewelers in Bellary, Karnataka. Due to the horrific blast, many people are reported to have been seriously injured.  It's Islamist Attack? (sic).” Archived versions of multiple posts making similar claims can be viewed here, here, here, and here.

Screenshots of viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, according to media reports, police statements, and the FIR (First Information Report) filed into the incident, the smoke was not the result of an IED blast but an explosion in the air-conditioning unit at the store.

What did we find?

A Google search led us to a report published by India Today on May 3, stating that an explosion in one of the air-conditioners (AC) at a store named Kalyan Jewellers in the Brucepet area in Bellary seriously injured some people in the premises. 

Local news outlets like Kannada Prabha, Hindustan Times Kannada, and Asianet News stated that six people were injured in the explosion that occurred around 6 p.m. on May 2 due to a malfunction while refilling some chemicals in the store’s central air-conditioning system. 

Bellary’s Superintendent of Police also issued a clarification (archived here) on X, saying, “On 2nd May an accidetal blast happened during repair of Air Conditioner in Kalyan Jewellers shop in Brucepete, Ballari.  Five persons got injured. A case was registered for negligence. It is warned  legal action will be initiated on people spreading misinformation in this regard (sic).”

Screenshot of the post shared by Bellary’s Superintendent of Police. (Source: X/Screenshot)

Logically Facts spoke to MN Sindhur, Brucepet police station inspector, who said, “The central air-conditioning system was being repaired at the store, and technicians were refilling the gas. However, the gas valve was not properly closed, which was why the explosion occurred.” He added, “Six people were injured in the incident and are currently receiving treatment in a local hospital.”

We also reviewed the First Information Report (FIR) (archived here) filed in the aftermath of the incident, which clearly states that a case was filed against the manager of the Kalyan Jewelers store, air-conditioning company Blue Star, and another maintenance worker who had accompanied the service executives to the store. The FIR states that no safety measures were taken during the repair work. The case was filed under Indian Penal Code sections that penalize negligent conduct of machinery that can endanger a human life and cause serious injuries. 

The verdict

An incident involving an explosion in the air-conditioning unit at a jewelry store in Karnataka has been falsely presented as an IED blast, alleging it was a “terror attack.” Therefore, we have labeled the claim as false.    


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