Two days after a cylinder blast in Lalbaug killed two people and injured 15 others, police have booked the owner of Rane Caterers and his son. Police have registered a case of negligence and attempt to commit culpable homicide against the two. Nine patients are still in a critical state at KEM and Masina hospitals with severe burn injuries. Doctors said the challenge now was to avoid infection.
The accused, identified as Mangesh Rane (61) and his son Yash (19), have also suffered serious burn injuries and are recuperating in hospital.
On December 6, police registered a case under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 of the IPC. After the death of two people, however, police also added sections pertaining to culpable homicide in the FIR.
According to police, Rane’s daughter is to be married and the family, which lives in a rented apartment nearby, were using the second floor chawl room in Sarabhai building to store cooking ingredients and cylinders to prepare meals for guests at the wedding.
“He stored a commercial cylinder and there were complaints made by local residents that there is a leakage from the cylinder, which he ignored initially,” said an officer adding, “however, on Sunday morning, he took the complaint seriously and when he went to check, there was a fire and a cylinder burst.”
Police said at the time of the incident, his son Yash and employee Khan were also at the spot. They got trapped and were later rushed to hospital, they added.
Khan was declared dead on Monday, while a senior citizen, 62-year-old Sushila Bangera, who stayed in the neighbouring flat, died on the day of the incident.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Vijay Patil said sections were added to the FIR, and further investigation was on.
“No arrests have been made so far as both father and son are currently in hospital. Our primary investigation revealed that it was due to their negligence that the incident happened,” said an investigator.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) began repairs on the second floor of the five-storey Sarabhai building. Local MLA Ajay Choudhary met MHADA officials and assured residents that the repair work will be completed as soon as possible. Except for second-floor occupants, who continue to stay in a nearby hotel, residents of all other floors have returned to their rooms.
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