A 6-year-old boy in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu died Tuesday (June 9) after biting into an explosive gelatin stick that he mistook for food. At least four persons were arrested in connection with the child's death.

The incident took place in Alagarai village near Tiruchirappalli when the boy, Vishnu Dev, took a bite of what was actually a country-made explosive used for fishing, according to local reports.

Boopathi, the father of the victim and his elder brother Gangatharan used to fish in the nearby Cauvery river with the help of the gelatin-made explosives to earn a livelihood. On the day of the incident, Gangatharan along with his friends Mohanraj and Tamilarasan bought three such sticks from Selvakumar, who works at a stone quarry, and used two for fishing.

They brought the one stick left to Boopathi’s home which Vishnu thought was a biscuit and ate. The explosive then went off inside his mouth and caused severe injuries. On hearing the explosion, Gangadharan and Boopathi rushed him to a medical facility for treatment but he died halfway.

The brother-duo worked to cover up the incident as opposed to informing the authorities fearing the consequences. They paid the boy his final rites on the same night.

It was not clear how police were alerted about the incident but they arrested Boopathi, Gangadharan, Mohanraj, and Selvakumar under the explosives act and also causing the death of a child. The incident remains under investigation.

Police are trying to locate and detain Tamilasaran, who is on the run and also working to crack down on the use of country-made explosives.

Late last month, a pregnant elephant was killed in the Indian state of Kerala after being fed a pineapple stuffed with explosives. Authorities said the 15-year-old elephant left the forest area and wandered into a nearby village in search of food when someone offered it the firecracker-laden pineapple. The firecrackers exploded inside the mouth of the animal, gravely injuring its tongue and breaking the jaw. The elephant, after walking around the village in extreme pain and hunger, walked up to a nearby river and stood there with its trunk submerged in water until it died. Forest officials made several attempts to rescue the animal when it was still alive but to no avail. Forest officials are still trying to locate the culprit as the incident remains under investigation.

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