At least four persons were injured after a fire extinguisher went off accidentally in a restaurant located at the ground floor of Stephen Court building on Park Street on Saturday afternoon.
The sudden blast in the One Step Up restaurant on Park Street,which has been decked up for the new Year celebrations,has triggered tension in the area. Significantly,46 people were burnt to death after a devastating fire broke out in the Stephen Court in March,2010. The restaurant is also located at the same building on Park Street.
Coming as it does on jam packed New Years eve,the explosion of the fire extinguisher caused panic and those having lunch there fled the place. The sudden explosion of a fire extinguisher tube in the small and congested kitchen of the restaurant left four staff members of the restaurant injured. Three of the injured staff of the restaurant were admitted to SSKM hospital by the fire official. A fire tender was pressed to action immediately after the incident.
Rohit Banik,a staff of the restaurant received critical injury on his head as the fire extinguisher exploded while he was standing near the extinguisher.
A senior fire official said,The owners of the restaurant have violated fire safety norms. They have stocked huge inflammable material in the kitchen. The fire extinguisher was placed inside the kitchen. Here,the fire extinguisher dropped and it exploded. It appears that they did not do any maintenance of the fire extinguishers which caused the blast.
Gopal Bhattacharya,director,Fire and Emergency services said,It was a carbon dioxide extinguisher. These extinguishers are needed to be checked and maintained by the companies at least once in a year. If the pressure testing of the extinguishers is not done properly,then there are always chances of the extinguishers going off. Maintenance of the equipment also comes under the fire safety norms.
A senior police official confirmed that there was no sign of sabotage and it was an accident. Susmita Bhattacharya,local councillor of the area said that the restaurant has four fire extinguishers installed and all of these four fire extinguishers expired six months ago.