BENGALURU: According to the State Fire and Emergency Services, no one from IISc called the 101 helpline, and emergency services reached the spot on their own after seeing media reports. “No one called the helpline as there was no fire. We reached the spot after seeing reports in the media,” confirmed Sunil Agarwal, ADG (Fire).
MR Chandrashekar, senior security officer at IISc, said that he was having lunch at his quarters when he heard the blast, as it reverberated even where he was sitting. “I immediately reached the spot and we managed to evacuate one of the engineers to a spot outside the building. The ambulances then took the injured to Ramaiah Hospital,” he said.
According to G Jagadeesh, professor at the department of aerospace engineering and co-founder of the startup, the lab had all safety protocol in place to carry out experiments. “We are unsure how the blast happened. We have been using high-pressure gases for a long time and this is the first time such an incident has occurred.”
Fire and Emergency Services officials at the spot said that the explosion could have been the result of a mixing of gases. The laboratory stored industrial size cylinders of oxygen, hydrogen, helium and other gases. However, they added the caveat that the exact cause and safety precautions taken would be known only once the forensics team submitted its report.