Four injured in fire at cylinder godown in Mumbai; owner held

·2-min read

(Eds: Updating with arrest of godown owner) Mumbai, Feb 10 (PTI) Four people were injured on Wednesday morning after a major fire broke out in a godown in suburban Andheri which caused LPG cylinders stored there to explode, officials said.

Some neighbourhood houses also suffered damage in the fire, they said, adding the godown owner was arrested hours later.

The blaze erupted around 9.40 am due to a cylinder blast in the godown located on Yari Road in Versova area of the western suburb, they said.

Four people were injured and taken to the nearby Cooper Hospital, the officials said, adding the fire was put out after four hours around 1.30 pm.

The injured, all daily wage workers, were identified by the police as Rakesh Kadu (30), Laxman Kumvat (24), Manjit Khan (20) and Mukesh Kumvat (30).

Two of the injured (Kadu and Laxman Kumvat) sustained 40 per cent burns, while the others (Khan and Mukesh Kumvat) suffered 60 per cent injuries, police said.

A civic official said 16 fire brigade vehicles, including water jetties, were used for fire fighting.

According to officials, several LPG cylinders were stored in the godown and many of them burst while the blaze was being doused.

The explosions caused panic in the area.

The godown owner, Hoti Wadilal (45), has been arrested, a police official said.

Initial probe revealed he was operating the godown illegally in a residential locality, the official said.

Wadilal was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 and 338 (grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and under the Essential Commodity Act, he said.

He will be produced before a court in Andheri on Thursday, the official added.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar and deputy Mayor Suhas Wadkar visited the spot and later Cooper Hospital.

The mayor also spoke to the residents whose houses suffered damage in the fire, and directed officials to pay them suitable compensation.

'It is wrong to store cooking gas cylinders in a residential area which poses risk to the life of people. A probe will be conducted and a strict action will be taken against the guilty,' the mayor said.

She also appealed to the citizens to report any illegal storage of highly-inflammable materials to the Mayor's office, and assured action.

A standard procedure will soon be put in place to avoid such incidents in future, Pednekar added. PTI KK ZA GK NSK RSY RSY