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Gas explodes and kills: is your cylinder safe?

A series of deaths in cooking gas explosions,mostly induced by faulty tubes,has prompted the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd...

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
February 3, 2009 11:22:58 pm

A series of deaths in cooking gas explosions,mostly induced by faulty tubes,has prompted the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) to issue a safety advisory to its 9 lakh consumers,urging them to get their tubes and cylinders checked,change the tubes periodically and use only Suraksha Rubber Tubes.

The latest victims were a mother and her daughter whose pipe had developed a leak. “The explosion happened on Sunday when Bhikabai Maruti Jadhav (60) lit a match at their home at Chakrapani Vasahat,Bhosari. She and her daughter Alka Ramdas Shinde (45) sustained 90 per cent buns and they died in hospital on Sunday,” Bhosari police inspector Mohan Vidhate said.

“The cylinder itself did not explode,but the tube was old and had developed cracks. It seems the tube had not been changed for quite sometime. The family had not switched off the regulator and gas was leaking,” said Kiran Gawde,fire brigade chief in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. “When oxygen and LPG mix,they need just a spark to explode. In this case,the gas seems to have leaked at night. It collected in the house as the doors and windows were shut,” he said.

The accident took to 15 the number of deaths in gas explosions in the last three months.

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Bhosari police called BPCL officials and also Gujar Gas Enterprises,the agency that supplied the gas. “We are waiting for the BPCL report before filing a case,” Vidhate said.

BPCL officials said that prima facie the residents were at fault. “There should have been a single tube as permitted by law. But here we found a T-junction from where two tubes were attached to the stoves. This is illegal but common in most households,” said J Vedagiri,territory manager

for BPCL.

BPCL has asked customers to get in touch with them if they had complaints like leaking tubes or faulty cylinders.

(Measures recommended by BPCL)
Insist on pre-delivery inspection by gas agency staff
Insist that the cylinder seal be broken in front of you
l Prefer Suraksha Rubber Tubes
Get agency staff to check the tube and the cylinder thoroughly
Change the rubber tube every two years
Switch off regulator after use

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