Uttar Pradesh: LPG blasts in densely populated areas raise safety concernUpdated: Oct 26, 2020, 09:03 IST
Two incidents of LPG explosion in densely populated areas of Agra and Aligarh respectively in the past few days, that killed seven and left many injured, have raised concerns over the way small cracker and toy gun manufacturing units function. What is worrisome is also the timing of the blasts-- with Diwali drawing closer, work was on in full swing in both these units.
While a probe had been ordered, no concrete measures seems to have been taken to check such incidents, said locals.
On October 18, three people were killed and four others were seriously injured when a gas cylinder exploded in a house where firecrackers were stored, police said. The house was in Agra’s densely populated locality of Azampada. Two other houses in the vicinity were also damaged due to the high intensity blast.
Agra district magistrate Prabhu N Singh had said: “The exact reason for the blast is yet to be ascertained...We have already started the process of not renewing the licenses of these cracker units in crowded areas.”
Earlier on October 13, four people, including one of the owners of a toy pistol-making factory that operated out of a house in Aligarh, were killed and a dozen others were injured after a gas cylinder exploded, completely destroying the building, said the police.
“The incident happened in Mohalla Khatikaan under Delhi Gate police station of Aligarh. Initially, it was believed that the explosion was that of a gas cylinder, but the actual reason is being investigated by the city magistrate,” said Abhishek, superintendent of police (SP), Aligarh.
The fire department’s task was confined to submitting report about the locations selected for firecracker selling units, but it does not have the powers to intervene in cases of risky storage of crackers, said Agra chief fire officer AR Sharma.
“We do not have the powers to search such units and so, we cannot go after people storing crackers in a risky way,” he stated.
Locals also raised concern over the illegal manufacturing of crackers in makeshift establishments in and around Dhorra village in Etmadpur. They said officials know about these cracker units but the issue was being overlooked.