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Cylinder blast claims two lives, brings down building

Belgaum, March 28, 2013, DHNS:
Salvage effort: Fire personnel look for people trapped under the debris of a building which collapsed following an LPG cylinder blast in Belgaum on Thursday. A victim of the blast is pulled from the rubble (right).  dh photos

Two people were killed and a three-storey building was reduced to rubble, following an LPG cylinder blast at a house in Bhandur Galli in Angol suburb here on Thursday. Six people trapped in the same building had a narrow escape after neighbours rescued them from the building.

The LPG cylinder in the ground floor kitchen exploded, bringing down the buildings in ground floor and first floor while leaving the second floor hanging in a slant position, couple of feet above first floor. The LPG cylinder blast sound was heard up to a distance of one kilometer.

Padmavati Kulkarni (70) and her granddaughter Trupti Gururaj Kulkarni (10), asleep at the time of incident, were killed after being trapped under the debris. Gururaj Kulkarni and his wife Rajashri, who suffered 40 per cent and 90 per cent burns respectively, scurried to safety. Both are critical, undergoing treatment at the district hospital.

Gangadhar Charantimath, sleeping in the first floor room and Mahadev Shinde (45), his wife Lalita (38), their children Prasad (11), Ankush (12) and Prem (3) residing on the second floor were rescued by neighbours by removing the window grills.

According to neighbours, a loud explosion at about 7.35 am brought the building crumbling. They then informed the police and fire fighting personnel who swung into rescue operations.

Deepak Berde, a neighbour, said that he along with few others removed grills of the second floor window to rescue the  five-member Shinde family. Charantimath sleeping in the first floor room was removed by cutting the wall by fire fighting force personnel. The rush of onlookers from neighbouring areas affected rescue operations with police having a tough time controlling the crowds.

Fire fighting personnel said both the deceased did not have any burn injuries nor fire marks were visible in the rubble as the cylinder did not catch fire. Incidentally, the Kulkarnis had decided to vacate the house during the weekend to go to another house on rent, but two members were killed in the cylinder blast.  Even a couple of hours after being rescued Lalita Shinde and her three children were seen trembling with fear.
Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patiland other senior officials visited the spot.  Tilakwadi police have registered a case.


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