The death toll in Ludhiana gas cylinder blast reached seven Wednesday as two more victims succumbed to burn injuries. Ashok Kumar (45) passed away undergoing treatment at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh. He had received 45 per cent burn injuries. Another victim Meena Devi (27) died at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) Ludhiana with 35-40 per cent burn injuries. ACP Dharam Pal said that bodies will be cremated after autopsy. The body of Ashok Kumar will arrive from PGIMER Chandigarh by evening following which autopsy will be done, he added.
Meanwhile, Parvati, wife of deceased Ashok Kumar alleged that they had to pay for medicines at PGIMER Chandigarh even as Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh had announced free treatment for the victims. She also claimed that despite their repeated requests, Ashok Kumar was not shifted from PGIMER to burns unit at CMCH Ludhiana.
“We have spent at least Rs 20,000 for medicines and other expenses at PGIMER. His condition was deteriorating since two days but administration did not shift him from PGIMER to CMCH,” claimed his wife.
Denying allegations, ACP Dharam Pal said, “Initially Ashok was admitted at a hospital in Ludhiana only and it is only after insistence of his family that he was shifted to PGIMER Chandigarh for better treatment.” He said he will look into the matter and if family paid for medicines, the money will be reimbursed. On April 26, a cylinder exploded at a residence in Samrat Colony of Giaspura area of Ludhiana injuring at least 34 persons.
Of 34, seven have died till now including house owner Sunita, his son Raj and five others- Shashi Singh, Ram Naresh, Amarnath, Ashok Kumar and Meena Devi. Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced financial aid of Rs 1 lakh for kin of deceased and free treatment in hospitals for injured.