LPG blast kills pregnant woman, 6 others in Bengaluru

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LPG blast

Bengaluru: Adding to the misery of incessant rains, the city saw a portion of a two-storey building in Ejipura crumbling in the face of an explosion early Monday morning. It’s suspected to have been triggered by an LPG cylinder leak, and claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, who was eight months pregnant and her young husband as well as five others. The dead young couple’s three-year-old daughter miraculously survived with a few burns. The building was reduced to rubble within seconds of the explosion, which occurred around 6.45 am to the screams of terror stricken occupants. “A thick blanket of yellow smoke covered the building and surrounding area. Then an electricity pole came crashing down, sparking as a wall of the building fell on it,” said one eyewitness.

A 26-year-old woman, who was eight months pregnant, was killed along with her young husband and five others when an explosion, suspected to have been triggered by an LPG cylinder leak, brought down a portion of a two-storey building in Ejipura early Monday morning. The young couple’s three- year- old daughter miraculously survived with a few injuries.

According to eyewitnesses, the portion of the building was reduced to rubble within seconds of the explosion, which occurred at around 6.45 am amidst screams and howls of the occupants.

“A thick blanket of yellow smoke covered the building and the surrounding area. Then an electricity pole came crashing down, giving off sparks as a wall of the building fell on it. A few occupants saved themselves by jumping off the building and a few fell down along with the shattered walls and roof,” said one eyewitness.

The impact of the explosion was such that it left window panes of neighbouring houses shattered and people living in nearby streets said it was heard 500 meters away. Around 14 people were present in the building when it collapsed and most were thought to be asleep at the time.

Over 50 personnel of the Fire and Emergency Services, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force and Civil Defence rushed to the spot to begin the search and rescue operations at around 7.30 am and continued till 2.30 pm. Besides pulling out four bodies from the rubble, they rescued many people from it, including three-year-old Sanjana, who was trapped on the ground floor. Her young parents, Ashwini (26) and Shravana (28) did not survive the incident.

The family lived on the ground floor and the couple was buried in the debris. It took the rescue team seven hours to pull out the bodies from the rubble. The other dead have been identified as Ravichandar (46), Kalavathi (68), Malashree (25), Prasad (18), Pawan Kalyan (19).

Besides Sanjana, those who got away with injuries are Chitra (42), Priya (12), Janaki (31), Ashokan (51), Dileep (18) and Asha (21). They are being treated at a hospital.

Going by the neighbours, the building had three apartments on the ground floor , three on the first and one on the second. It was occupied by four families in all.

DCP (Central), Chandragupta said the building belonged to one Mr Gunesh, who had rented it to the four families. “The building appears to have collapsed due to a LPG cylinder explosion. Its structure seems weak. We will know more once we complete the investigation,” he added.

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