September 20, 2020

Godown gutted in LPG blasts

Patna: Residents of Nurpur near Didarganj check post in Patna City had a narrow escape when a fire engulfed an LPG godown in the densely populated locality leading to a series of cylinder explosions on Saturday morning.

Police said a fire broke out in the HP gas agency’s godown in Nurpur under the jurisdiction of Malsalami police station in Patna City around 6.20am. The incident occurred when cylinders were being offloaded froma truck at the godown.

As highly inflammable gas leaked from one of the cylinders, fire engulfed the stationary truck. “Cylinders started bursting one after another for almost an hour. Everybody in the vicinity of the godown was seen scurrying for security cover. Panic prevailed in the area,” said Mukul Mahto, a local resident.

Residents immediately informed the fire station, which sent two fire tenders to control the fire. Later, three more fire tenders were pressed into service. However, the flames couldn’t be controlled, leading to panic among residents.

The personnel of the National Disaster Response Team and those of the State Disaster Response Team evacuated the houses and took the occupants to a safer place. “It took more than three hours for the fire personnel to contain the situation,” said Mukul.

The fire officer of Patna City fire station Surendra Kumar said a truck was gutted in the fire and subsequent explosions. “There is no report of loss of any human life in the incident. The loss of property due to the fire is being estimated,” he said over phone.

The fire officer said the cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. Prima facie, it appeared that an electric spark either from the engine or silencer of the truck caused the fire after the inflammable gas came in touch with the former, he said.

The station house officer (SHO) of Malsalami police station Prem Raj Chauhan said at least 50-60 cylinders exploded. The tremor of the blasts was felt in a radius of 1km, as cylinders kept on bursting for over half-an-hour. The debris of the burnt cylinders spread over 500m from the godown, he added. Chauhan said the officials of the HP gas agency were yet to give in writing the estimated value of the loss of property owing to the incident. “Thank God, nothing untoward happened,” he said.

The representatives of the agency were tight-lipped and were not willing to divulge anything about Saturday’s incident.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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