According to the police, the incident occurred at around 6.45am on Friday when the tempo approached a Mahanagar Gas Limited station on Cama Estate Main Road off the Western Express Highway. The police said that two kits of four cylinders, each fitted below the water tanker, were to be refuelled.
While an attendant at the station was filling one of the cylinders, it suddenly rocketed out and exploded, while the three others in the kit flung out like projectiles in different directions.
"One of the cylinders hit a passerby Rakesh Saroj from the rear. He was rushed to KEM hospital where he died during treatment at around 11am. Two others who were walking nearby - Rameshchandra Joshi, 55, and Somnath Suryavanshi, 32 -sustained minor injuries and were discharged after preliminary treatment at Siddhartha hospital in Goregaon (West)," said Sudhir Ranshevre, senior inspector, Vanrai police station in Goregaon (East).
A spokesperson from Mahangar Gas confirmed the incident and said medical attention was given to the injured persons. He added that an internal inquiry is in progress.
The police said a team of engineers is at work to ascertain the reason for the mishap. However, a case under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code for culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered against the tanker owner and dealer who manages the CNG station.
Ranshevre said that, prima facie, it appears there was a flaw in the cylinders. "These tankers have inspections every five years. It appears the water tanker owner did not have these checks conducted. The tanker is about 15 years old," he said.