(Eds: Adding latest info, ONGC's statement) Ahmedabad, Dec 22 (PTI) At least two persons were killed and one was injured after two houses collapsed following a powerful explosion in Kalol town of Gujarat's Gandhinagar district on Tuesday morning, police said.
Preliminary investigation suggested that cooking gas leaked from a pipeline at a posh society in Panchvati area of Kalol and accumulated in one of the houses, which was not in use since November last year, causing the explosion around 7.30 am, they said.
Gandhinagar Collector Kuldeep Arya told reporters in Kalol that piped gas is being provided in the area by Sabarmati Gas Ltd, a joint venture of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).
'Two persons have died while one is injured in the explosion which destroyed two houses in Kalol town in the morning,' Inspector General of Police, Gandhinagar Range, Abhay Chudasama said.
'Our primary investigation suggests that leakage from a gas pipeline passing through the society caused the explosion,' he said.
Earlier, in the morning, Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police Mayur Chavda told reporters that pipelines of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the Gujarat Gas Ltd, a state government entity, pass through the area.
However, a detailed probe by officials revealed that neither the ONGC nor the Gujarat Gas pipeline was involved in the mishap.
The state-run ONGC in a statement said, 'An unfortunate gas leakage took place today in a gas pipeline in a residential area near ONGC's Kalol field. ONGC confirms that this pipeline, where the accident took place, does not belong to ONGC.' 'Our fire tenders have rushed to the spot and ONGC, Crisis Management Team have been instructed to be on standby for any kind of exigency and support,' it added.
Gandhinagar Collector Arya said piped gas is being provided in the area by the Sabarmati Gas Ltd.
'Of the two houses which were completely destroyed in the blast, one was not in use since November 2019 while three persons were living in the other house as tenants,' he said.
A primary probe revealed that a blast occurred in the closed house due to gas leakage, he said.
'The Sabarmati Gas provides piped cooking gas in this region. Since the house was not in use, the gas connection was disconnected by the owner. Tenants of the adjoining house were using LPG cylinder,' Arya said.
'Primary investigation suggests the explosion was a result of leakage of piped gas in the closed house,' he said.
The collector said Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who represents Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha, spoke to him over phone about the incident.
'He has sought a detailed report about the incident,' Arya added.
According to locals, the blast was so powerful that the two double-storey houses were completely destroyed.
'The blast also caused damage to some adjoining houses and vehicles. Glass windows of many houses were shattered,' a resident told reporters at the spot.
He said one of the houses which collapsed was locked since a long time, while some people were staying in the other one.
Local Congress MLA Baldevji Thakor rushed to the spot after getting information about the incident. PTI PJT PD GK GK