LPG tanker fire kills 8 near M'lore

LPG tanker fire kills 8 near M'lore

Six houses, two shops and garage destroyed

LPG  tanker fire kills 8 near M'lore

Eight people were charred to death and six suffered burns on Tuesday after a Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)  to Bangalore went up in flames at Perne, around 50 km from Mangalore.

The locality witnessed one of the worst fire tragedies as a four-acre arecanut plantation, six houses, two shops and a garage in the vicinity, besides a van and a car were destroyed. The dead were identified as driver of the tanker Cheluvaras (35), Vanitha (38), her son Chitresh (5), Shobha Rai (40), Guruvappa (30), Sunil (6), Khatheejamma (38). Driver of a van, Vasanth (40) from Mangalore, succumbed to burns in hospital.

“As the fire quickly engulfed the area seconds after the gas started leaking, none found time to run to safety,” said a resident of the locality. “The area was engulfed in fire even before we realised what happened.”

Sources said the accident occurred at 10:05 am after the driver of the tanker lost control while negotiating a curve at Perne near Uppinangady. Seconds later, the tanker carrying 16,000 litres of LPG turned upside down, leading to leakage.

Houses of Sunder Rai, Shankar, Abbas, Ummer, Umarabba and Mohammed were destroyed along with two shops belonging to Abdulla and Ismail. A garage owned by Sunder was also extensively damaged. A van, besides two other two-wheelers parked in the vicinity were also destroyed.

Rai’s wife, Indira, anganwadi worker Vimala, Safiya and her mother Hajeema were admitted to A J Hospital and Fr Muller Hospital. They were stated to be critical. Most of them were inside their houses at the time of the accident.

Sources said the toll might increase since the injured were admitted to different hospitals and their exact number was yet to be ascertained. Several others have sustained minor burns.More than 10 fire tenders were immediately pressed into service.

Rescue operations were also initiated. Over a dozen ambulances rushed to the spot to shift the victims to hospitals in Mangalore. Many locals were involved in the rescue operation.

The national highway was blocked for more than eight hours. Traffic resumed in the evening following a nod from the officials concerned. Service of around 200 buses which ply between Mangalore and Bangalore daily were affected.

Meanwhile, Dakshina Kannada district Deputy Commissioner Harsha Gupta has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each for the kin of the deceased. He has also announced Rs 1 lakh for those who suffered over 50 per cent burns and Rs 50,000 for those with less than 50 per cent burns. Gupta said steps will be taken to provide compensation to the kin of deceased and injured from HPCL.

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