BENGALURU: Seven people, including a pregnant woman, were killed after a three-storey building collapsed following an LPG explosion in Ejipura near Koramangala early on Monday morning. A three-year-old girl, whose parents died in the accident, miraculously survived while seven others sustained injuries and are recovering in private hospitals. A senior officer from the Fire Services Department said an LPG cylinder leakage resulted in an explosion on the ground floor of the over 30-year-old building. However, the cylinder did not blast, the officer said.
The bomb detection and disposal squad also inspected the site and took samples to ascertain the cause of explosion. The deceased are Saravana (31), his wife Ashwini (29), who was eight months pregnant, Kalavathi (68), Hariprasad (18), Pawan Kalyan (19), Malashri (25) and Ravichandran (48). The seven injured Chitra (42), Priya (12), Janaki (31), Ashokan (5), Dilip (18), Asha (21) and Sanjana (3), who were rescued, have been admitted to private hospitals in the city.
All victims hail from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and were settled in the city for the past 20 years.
C Basavanna, Chief Fire Officer, said, “Around 6.55 am, Joe John, a resident of the area, informed the fire service of the incident and a team rushed to the spot. The bodies of a woman and two men were extricated within a hour. Those trapped in the rubble were rescued. At the end of the seven-hour operation, four more bodies were removed.”
Basavanna added there was no proper ventilation in the building. “This affected the rescue operation. Four firemen Suresh, Chikkachudayya, Subhan Khan and Ramakrishna were injured as a portion of the wall collapsed on them and were rushed to a private hospital,” he said. The survivors alleged that the building had developed many cracks and the owner Gunesh did not bother to fix it despite repeated complaints.
The owner’s negligence is also blamed for the mishap and police has to take action against him.
Resident Joe John said, “I was sleeping when I heard an explosion. I came to the balcony and saw people screaming as the building, which is 50 metres away from where I stay, collapsed. Power went off and I alerted fire service.”