Two killed in cylinder explosion

Warehouse stocked with gas cylinders, flouts rules

Two men were killed in an explosion at a warehouse storing gas cylinders in northeast Delhi’s Gokulpuri on Friday.

Their bodies were mutilated and parts were found lying scattered in a radius of 100 metres. It could have ended in a bigger disaster as there were two schools with over 500 students at both ends of the street.

The incident occurred at Bhagirathi Vihar Gali Number 14 around 11.30 am. Police said Gupta Gases warehouse was owned by Amit Gupta, a resident of north Delhi’s Karampura. Over 100 cylinders of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide were inside on Friday.

“The impact of the explosion was such that the warehouse was completely damaged. Parts of the cylinders and metal roofing of the warehouse also ended up on the terrace of the schools and nearby streets,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) Veenu Bansal.

Labourers Ganga Singh, 30, and 28-year-old Feroze died at the spot, while two minor girls walking outside the warehouse were injured.

Ganga hailed from Bihar and lived at the warehouse, while Feroze was a native of Uttar Pradesh and lived with his family at a rented house on the same street.

“Amit supplied the cylinders to private hospitals and nursing homes. Ganga used to work at the warehouse and Feroze was there to get the receipt of a consignment,” Bansal added.

Locals told Deccan Herald that Amit had purchased the warehouse last year, but had been illegally storing the cylinders.

“It is completely illegal as Bhagirathi Vihar is a residential area. Such warehouses should be run only in industrial areas,” said Aman, a local.

A case under Indian Penal Code has been registered with Gokulpuri police station.
Amit is yet to be arrested.

“Amit was admitted to a hospital after complaining of chest pain on being informed about the incident. He is undergoing treatment,” Bansal said.

The injured girls have been identified as Sania, 9, and Ayesha, 5. “They were taken to a nearby nursing home and shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in a PCR van,” Bansal added. They were returning home from nearby Lovely Public School.

The single-storey building along with the boundary walls in its backyard collapsed on impact, while window panes of nearby buildings were shattered. Locals informed police and a fire tender was also rushed to the spot.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. The initial probe by police and the fire department has revealed that Amit was not following safety regulations and guidelines.

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