A gas cylinder explosion in the Oriental building near Regal cinema on Thursday evening left one person dead. The incident took place at the residence of one Deepak Kuplani, 70, on the second floor of the building.
The police are, however, not sure who passed away in the accident as they have only been able to find the lower part of the victim’s body.
Assistant commissioner of police (Colaba division) Iqbal Shaikh said, “ The cylinder blast took place around 6pm on Thursday. We have only found the lower part of a body in the kitchen. We have not been able to find either Kuplani or the 42-year-old man who worked as a domestic help there.”
He added, “ The domestic help was employed at the Kuplani residence only a few months ago. Kuplani lived alone as his son is away in Hong Kong.”
An official from the fire department said, “We received a call around 6pm after which two fire engines and two fire tenders were dispatched to the spot and the fire was doused as soon as we reached there.”
Varsha Zaveri, owner of a shop on the ground floor of the building, said, “I saw smoke coming out of the window around 4.50pm. I called Kuplani’s number and asked another person in my shop to call up the fire officials. But, I could not get through to his number.”
The rooms that were badly burnt were the kitchen and a room adjoining it,” said Suhas Joshi, deputy fire officer, Colaba.
“Fire officers had to break down the door of the flat to get inside,” said Iqbal Shaikh, assistant commissioner of police, Colaba.
The Oriental building is more than 100 years old residents said. There was no damage to the other flats in the building.