Visakhapatnam

Blast shook the morning calm

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It was so powerful that two-month-old baby, which was born on the day Hudhud struck city, died instantly

Tuesday was like any normal day when residents of Rangireeju Street in Ward 23 of the Old Town area woke up.

The locality is one of the oldest inhabited area and is thickly populated. It is cramped with houses built in the labyrinth of narrow lanes and by-lanes.

While the elderly were sipping their morning ‘chai’, men were getting ready to go to work and women were busy with their daily chores such as dressing up children for school or preparing breakfast or collecting water from the GVMC taps.

At about 7.30 a.m., there was a huge bang that shook the locality. An eerie silence followed for a few seconds. It took the residents a few seconds to realise what had hit them.

Window panes shattered, doors rattled, and buildings in the neighbourhood shook violently.

“For a moment, we thought that it was a bomb blast and then we saw fire. It was a huge ball of fire that engulfed four to five houses for a few seconds. It took us about two to three minutes to understand that it was an LPG cylinder blast,” said Appalanaidu, a neighbour to Narasinga Rao family, in whose house the cylinder exploded.

The residents said that within minutes everything in the 20-metre radius was charred.

Fire brigade rushed to the spot within minutes and doused the fire.

Head of Department of Plastic Surgery in KGH P.V. Sudhakar said that in the case of LPG blast, the temperature would be very high.

“It is like a bomb blast where the temperature soars to 200 to 300 degree centigrade. The fire comes like a flash and scorches everything in its way. The burns are deep and not superficial, as in the case of hot water burns,” Dr. Sudhakar said.

The impact was so forceful that the two-month-old baby, which was born to Bhavani on the day cyclone Hudhud made its landfall in the city, died instantly.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 12:34:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/blast-shook-the-morning-calm/article6676796.ece

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