Relatives of persons injured in the fire that ravaged Perne on Tuesday after a tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas overturned, complained of lack of support from the district administration and Hindustan Petroleum for treatment.

“I have lost everything in the fire. I have borrowed money from my relatives to meet treatment expenses,” said Sudhakar Rai, husband of 50-year-old Indira, who is undergoing treatment at the Father Muller’s Hospital. Mr. Rai said though officials promised assistance, nobody had come forward to help. “We are left to fend for ourselves here,” he said.

Indira was among the three who are undergoing treatment for burns. Ms. Indira suffered 60 per cent burns while unsuccessfully trying to save her sister-in-law Shobha. Ms. Indira’s neighbour Vimala is undergoing treatment at the hospital with 80 per cent burns. Khateeja (70), with 30 per cent burns, is admitted in Government Wenlock Hospital. Doctors at the Father Muller’s Hospital said condition of Ms. Indira and Ms. Vimla remains critical.

Mr. Rai said not much has been left at his house that has been razed. He said revenue officials and police officers who visited his house on Wednesday said HPCL would bear the treatment expenses. “But here there is no sign of either any representative from HPCL or from the district administration,” he said. Chief Fire Officer H.S. Varadarajan said information about the extent of was passed on to HP authorities just as the first fire tender reached the spot around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We needed their assistance as their response van had facilities to decant fuel and also possesses spark arrester tools.”

With the delay, the firemen kept on pouring water and prevented any secondary explosion. HPCL officials arrived at 2.30 pm.

A. Krishnan Kutty, Chief Manager of HPCL, said his officials left soon after receiving the information on Tuesday. The traffic might have delayed them, he said.

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