Three people died after three single-storey structures collapsed due to a cylinder blast in one of the hutments in Maharashtra Nagar slum early on Thursday morning in Mankhurd. Eleven people sustained injuries and have been sent to hospital. The disaster department helpline received a call for help at 6.31 am first for a house collapse and later for a fire. Fire officials said the explosion had occurred when cooking gas leaking from a cylinder in one of the structures caught fire when someone lit a stove.
“We rescued nearly 25 people. While most of those injured have been taken to Shatabdi Hospital, six were sent to Sion Hospital. Many of them had burn injuries,” said a fire official. The deceased are Kasturbabai Wankhede (65), Rekha Wankhede (30) and Sanjay Wankhede (35). Three fire engines were sent to the spot and the rescue operations went on till 11 am. The official said the fire had been confined to electrical wiring, the LPG cylinder and a few other household items. Of those injured, 13 were rushed to Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi.
“Two patients (Kasturbabai Wankhede and Rekha) were declared dead on arrival. They succumbed to suffocation as a wall had collapsed on them leaving no space to escape,” said a doctor on duty. Of the 10 patients brought to Sion hospital, Ajay Wankhede was declared dead on arrival.
By Thursday evening, two remained admitted in Shatabdi Hospital with burns, four were discharged and five were referred to Sion. Currently, nine patients are in Sion Hospital, of which six are children with head injuries. “The adults have mostly suffered burns due to the blast. The children have head injuries,” said a doctor.
“The slum dwellers need to be sensitised on safety protocols to follow while handling cylinders. Since they live in close quarters, the injuries are more intense and affect a larger population,” said Dr Suleman Merchant, dean at Sion Hospital.