Gas was being transferred between cylinders used illegally for commercial purposes

Four persons, including a 65-year-old woman, were seriously injured when an LPG cylinder exploded in a building on Anna Pillai Street in Sowcarpet on Wednesday.

The police said around 8.15 a.m., three of the four occupants of the house, S. Chinnaraj (20), K. Raju (20) and J. Nageshrao (20) were transferring gas from a big cylinder to three smaller cylinders in the kitchen and S. Rukmani (65) was making tea there. An accidental gas leakage from the cylinders led to the blast oand seriously injured all four persons.

Neighbours, including the house owner, S. Malliga, who lives in an adjoining building, panicked on hearing thesound caused by the impact of the blast.

The neighbours admitted the injured at the Kilpauk Medical College hospital (KMCH) and the police were alerted about the incident.

The police said except for Rukmani, who is from the city, the other injured persons are from Vishakapatinam, Andhra Pradesh. They had rented the house only two days before to set up a corn flakes-manufacturing unit.

“They make corn flakes and other eatables in the rented house in the morning and sell them on the streets in northern parts of the city including Mint, Sowcarpet, Choolai and Broadway. The house serves as both accommodation and manufacturing unit for them,” said S. Malliga, the owner of the house.

A police team inspected the crime scene and seized the four cylinders from the house. “A case of accidental fire under section 174 was filed and the case is being investigated,” said an officer attached to the Elephant Gate police. He added that the use of domestic LPG cylinders for a commercial purpose was illegal.

Doctors at KMCH said all four persons, who has sustained burns of varying degrees, were being treated in the Intensive Care Unit. “The condition of the injured is being continuously monitored,” said a doctor.

In January this year, four persons including two children, were killed when a LPG cylinder exploded at a house in the city, resulting in a wall collapse.

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