August 26, 2009 1:14:53 am
Three senior citizens and a watchman were injured when a cooking gas pipeline exploded in a flat at a Dadar residential society on Tuesday. The mishap is believed to have occurred when the sole resident of the flat,75-year-old widow Suman Marathe,switched on the light to investigate a gas leak.
Marathe had returned home on Tuesday morning after spending two days at her daughters house. Besides Marathe,who suffered over 40 per cent burns,Surendra Zoizade (78),wife Ratnabai (65) and the watchman were injured in a wall collapse triggered by the explosion.
I had dropped Marathe home this morning. But no sooner had I reached home we got a call from her neighbours. From whatever she told us,it appears that there was a gas leakage and the blast occurred when she tried to switch on a light, said Vishwas Kanade,Marathes son-in-law.
The compound was a devastated sight with shards of glass strewn across the ground,broken furniture from Marathes house,a broken A/C unit,parked cars with shattered panes and loose doors and a gaping hole in place of Marathes balcony. Buildings secretary Pravin Shangadure said they would install wooden props to support the structure till the repairs begin.
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Neighbour Srunivas Zoizade said,Our house is a 1BHK. Me,my wife and 10-year-old son Varun sleep in the hall while my younger son,four-year-old Rudra,sleeps with my parents in the bedroom,which shares a common wall with Marathes house. When it collapsed,the debris fell on my parents and son.
Dr Gustad Davar,medical director,Hinduja Hospital,said,Marathe has extensive burns on her legs,abdomen,back and face. She has superficial to deep burns up to 45 per cent. We are now stabilising her with fluids. The other two are not serious; one suffered scalp injury and the other on leg.
Chief Fire Officer P D Karguppikar said they were investigating the incident. The PNG gas had leaked heavily and we are investigating the source of the spark. We have asked the Mahanagar gas company to provide us details about the percentage of mercaptoethyl in the gas that lends the odour to it as a safety precaution during a leak.
The Mahanagar Gas Ltd has hinted at negligence being responsible for the accident. Its technical team is conducting a detailed investigation. Preliminary investigations show the possibility of non-compliance of safety norms by the user, a spokesperson said. It has also been observed that the original fittings have been tampered with and were being used unauthorisedly.
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