The Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has awarded a compensation of Rs.33,000 to a couple for the loss sustained due to the bursting of their LPG gas cylinder.

The Forum, headed by President A. Rajesh, directed the insurers of the LPG dealer and the oil company concerned to pay the compensation to the complainants — S. Surendra Nath of Aluva and his wife.

According to the complaint, the accident took place on January 26, 2010 while the complainant’s wife was cooking on a gas stove.

The burner produced flames for about 5 minutes and then suddenly the cylinder exploded with a deafening noise.

The complainant’s wife suffered 35 per cent burns. The complainants said the impact of the explosion damaged the kitchen and the furniture in it. The gas agency and officials of the oil company concerned were responsible for the accident, they alleged.

The Indian Oil Corporation claimed that the allegations that the accident occurred due to the leakage of gas from the washer and a defect in the gas cylinder were incorrect.

There were no lapses or lack of service on the part of the company.

The insurers — Oriental Insurance and National Insurance Companies — contended that there was no contractual relationship with the complainants.

They said that they had issued ‘a multi-peril policy’ of the LPG Gas Dealer to the gas agency and the oil company. Therefore, no claim could be entertained for the accident involving any customer.

The liability of the insurer to indemnify the dealer was limited to the damage to the property of the dealer. In fact, the liability was confined to the transport and installation alone and did not cover the actual use of the cylinder by consumers and any damage arising thereof during or on account of such use. The Forum held that the oil company and the gas agency were contractually and legally liable to indemnify the loss sustained by the complainants.

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