One person died and three others were injured after the fuel tank of an old lorry exploded when it was being welded at a workshop on the congested Border Thottam area, off Anna Salai, here on Tuesday.

According to police sources, Munna (25) of Bihar, who was welding it, suffered serious burns and died soon after he was admitted to the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital. Three other workers suffered minor burns in the incident on Lord Govindas Nagar Road.

The area bustling with workshops engaged in dismantling out-of-use vehicles and selling spare parts was rocked when the blast occurred around 11.30 a.m. outside Kamatchi Traders. The explosion ripped apart several old vehicles in the vicinity.

M. Vijaya (37), a resident of LGN Road, who witnessed the accident, said she was fetching water from a Metrowater tank nearby when there was a huge sound. “A welder was working under the big tanker lorry [a 10-wheeler] while three others were dismantling other parts of the vehicle. Suddenly, there was a blast and the man under the vehicle wriggled out in flames and started crying for help,” Vijaya added.

Munna, a native of Bihar, was taken to the hospital. Anna Salai police reached the spot and started investigation. The injured workers were identified as Manish (21) of Bihar and Shankar (26) and Andavan (24), both from Chennai. The sources said sparks from the welding work fell on the leftover fuel inside the tank resulting in the fire. “We have taken into custody owners of Kamatachi Traders, A.Seenivasan (46), and Dhanasekaran for not taking adequate precautionary measures.