Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has announced a solatium of Rs. 10 lakh to the family of the deceased who died of burn injuries suffered in the explosion of an LPG tanker lorry at Chala here on Monday night. He has also said that all the injured and those who suffered damage to their property and crops in the mishap will also be adequately compensated.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the spot of the tragedy at Chala and the injured in various hospitals here, Mr. Chandy said that the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) whose tanker had exploded would be urged to shoulder all the expenses of medical treatment for the injured and the estimated loss caused by the fire. The government, meanwhile, would do everything at its disposal for offering immediate relief to the victims of the tragedy that struck the area. The State government would bear the entire expenditure for the medical treatment of the injured. An amount of Rs. 10,000 each would be released immediately to the families of the injured, he said. Apart from medical expenditure, a solatium of Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh would be granted to the injured who suffered burn injuries exceeding 40 per cent, while those who suffered burn injuries below 40 per cent would be offered upto Rs. 2 lakh. Mr. Chandy said that the District Collector was entrusted to take a decision on fixing the solatium for the injured.

The Chief Minister reached here by helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram at around 12 noon. He immediately rushed to the hospitals including the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital, AKG Hospital and Koyili Hospital before visiting Chala to see the area struck by the mishap that rendered large scale damage of properties and killed a woman and injured at least 40 people.

Mr. Chandy told reporters that the Revenue officials were directed to estimate the loss of properties including houses, shops and vehicles, and crops. A decision on payment of compensation would be taken

without any delay. The families who could not immediately return to their houses because of huge damage would be give Rs. 5000 each for six months. The government would also ensure all assistance and meet expenditure if the families of the injured wanted to shift them to any other hospitals for better treatment. He also announced that the Public Works Department (Roads) officials had been asked to demolish the median on the road as local people complained that it was the cause of accidents in the area. The police and PWD officials would take a decision on the alternative road divider to be set up in the area. He also said that a decision to widen the road to clear the traffic bottlenecks at Thazhe Chovva and Puthiyatheru would also be taken at the earliest.

The Chief Minister was accompanies by Ministers K.C. Joseph, K.P. Mohanan and M.K. Muneer. K. Sudhakaran, MP, and MLAs K.M. Shaji, Sunny Joseph also accompanied him. The Chief Minister flew back in the chopper by 4-30 p.m.

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