Vijayawada

Two killed in explosion at pharma godown

SP, CID (Cyber Crime) Rammohan Rao, DSP, Guntur East, K. Supraja, and SHO, Kothapet, S.V. Rajasekhara Reddy, at the godown in Guntur on Friday.

SP, CID (Cyber Crime) Rammohan Rao, DSP, Guntur East, K. Supraja, and SHO, Kothapet, S.V. Rajasekhara Reddy, at the godown in Guntur on Friday.   | Photo Credit: T_VIJAYA_KUMAR

Bodies were thrown to a distance of two metres from the entrance of the shop, say police

Two men were killed in a devastating explosion that ripped through a pharmaceutical distribution godown at a commercial complex in Seelamvari Street at Kothapet here in the early hours of Thursday. Kolagani Rama Rao, who is the proprietor of Long Live Pharmaceutical Company, and K. Madhava Rao, a local electrician, were killed in the explosion. The impact of the explosion was so severe that the entire store was gutted, the iron shutters of the adjacent shops were flattened and the thick blanket of soot was formed on the ground floor of the complex. While the cause of the explosion is not yet clear, preliminary investigation revealed that a gaseous explosion could have caused the incident which took place in a crowded commercial area in the town.

Superintendent of Police, Guntur Urban, PHD Ramakrishna, and DSP, Guntur East, K. Supraja, visited the spot and took stock of the situation. Superintendent of Police, Cyber Crime, CID, Rammohan Rao has also visited the scene of the incident and collected information. Fire and emergency personnel, who reached the spot at about 2 a.m., brought the fire under control.

Station House Inspector, Kothapet, S.V Rajasekhara Reddy, said that the CCTV footage has revealed that the incident took place at 1.40 a.m. The video showed a ball of fire spiralling out of the shop followed by hail of smoke. “We have no idea now what caused the fire, but the explosion was devastating. The pharma godown has huge stocks of medicines and we are also probing if any chemical reaction could have caused the explosion. The impact of the explosion was more on the roof and the bodies were thrown to a distance of two metres from the entrance of the shop indicating the intensity of the explosion,” said Mr. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The proprietor of the firm, Kolagani Rama Rao had been in the wholesale pharmaceutical business for over 20 years. He also has a medical shop in a private hospital.

On Friday morning, he called up an electrician, Raju, and the latter said that he would send his brother Madhava Rao. Rao left home at 10.30 p.m. to attend to the problem and the explosion ended his life, a few hours later.

The explosion took place on the ground floor of the four floored complex. There are about eight families staying in the complex. Most of them are into pharmaceutical business. “We heard a deafening explosion past midnight. We thought for a moment that it could be an earthquake,” said Srinivasa Rao, a local man.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 12:56:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/two-killed-in-explosion-at-pharma-godown/article29858617.ece

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