HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

GAIL fire: Naidu, Pradhan visit site; compensation announced

PTI  Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, June 27, 2014
First Published: 21:53 IST(27/6/2014) | Last Updated: 22:47 IST(27/6/2014)

An ex-gratia of Rs. 25 lakh each would be given to the kin of those who died in the gas pipeline fire in Andhra Pradesh on Friday, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said after visiting the mishap site.

A high-level inquiry would be conducted into the incident involving GAIL gas pipeline in East Godavari district and those responsible for it would be punished, he said.

Naidu, who was in Delhi, cut short his trip and rushed to the site of the tragedy at Nagaram village this afternoon, accompanied by petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and officials of oil companies and the district administration.

They interacted with officials and local residents who expressed anguish over the alleged threat posed to them by the gas pipeline in the area.

Read: 16 dead in Andhra gas pipeline blast, locals accuse GAIL of negligence

Of the Rs. 25 lakh compensation, GAIL would provide Rs. 20 lakh, while the Centre and AP government would give Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh respectively, Naidu told reporters.

Rs 5 lakh each would be given to those who suffered permanent disability, Naidu said.

Pradhan said a high-level inquiry would be conducted into the mishap which left 15 people dead and 18 injured this morning when a huge blaze raged through Nagaram following a blast in an apparently leaking GAIL gas pipeline.

The leaping flames from the pipeline swept through nearby houses in Nagaram and coconut plantations, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

"Those responsible  will not be spared. Whoever it may be, they will not be spared," he said.

The loss of crops, coconut plantations and livestock would be compensated on the basis of the report to be prepared by the district administration, the Union minister said, adding GAIL would also build pucca houses.

Naidu visited the hospitals in Kakinada where the injured were undergoing treatment. The chief minister told the kin of the victims the government stands by them and directed the officials to provide good medical care to the injured.

The condition of some of the injured persons is stated to be serious and appropriate medical care is being provided to them. The injured are being treated in different hospitals in Kakinada and Amalapuram, an official release said.

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