Blast in Bengaluru Forensic Science Laboratory injures 7

Forensic Science Laboratory at Madiwala in Bengaluru

Forensic Science Laboratory at Madiwala in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy


Accident happened while they were testing a sample; the injured are out of danger

An accidental explosion at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Madiwala, while a sample was being tested, left seven persons injured on Friday afternoon.

While three of them have suffered major injuries and are undergoing surgery, four others have sustained minor injuries. “All seven patients are out of danger, and their condition is stable,” said Sanjiv Lewin, Chief of Medical Services, St. John’s Medical College Hospital.

Sources said that the hearing of three of the injured may be affected as their eardrums were injured.

The explosion occurred in the chemistry lab at around 2.45 p.m. on Friday, when Scientific Officer Sridhar was testing a sample of an explosive substance suspected to be Tri Acetone Tri Peroxide (TATP). The fingers of Mr. Sridhar’s left hand have been severely damaged.

Navya, a probationer in her early 20s and Anthony Prabhu, a lab attendent, helping Sridhar with the experiment sustained severe injuries. Navya has suffered an eye injury and a foreign body is still lodged in the eye, said Dr. Lewin. Anthony Prabhu has suffered a head injury.

The scene of the blast at the Forensic Science Laboratory at Madiwala in Bengaluru

The scene of the blast at the Forensic Science Laboratory at Madiwala in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy


Sample related Raichur blast case

The sample was a semi-liquid substance that reportedly exploded immediately after Sridhar poured it into a flask for the test. The explosive material was unstable and had taken the life of a person in a similar accident in Raichur over an year ago and now left seven personnel injured.

The sample pertained to a case from October 2018 in Raichur, where a waste picker Anantamma, 32, died when a can containing this chemical exploded, as she picked it up. The explosion left her husband and son injured.

It was established that a factory in the area which manufactured decorative plastic figurines had abandoned the can in an open plot and Raichur police had arrested two persons. FSL, Madiwala was conducting a test on the sample to give its final report on Friday when the explosion occurred.

“As the glass flask that contained the explosive liquid exploded, the glass shards have turned into potent splinters lodging into the bodies of the victims,” Dr. Lewin said.

Three other scientific officers Vishwavallabha, Vishwanath and Basava Prabhu and another lab attendant Netravathi, also in the lab suffered injuries due to the splinters from the explosion. All seven of them have had puncture wounds with glass splinters lodged in the skin mainly on their face, chest and abdomen.

Fire and Emergency Services who rushed to the spot secured the chemistry lab and ensured there were no further fire or explosion risk.

“The material that caused explosion was strewn on the floor of the lab. Using a water hose could have caused more explosions it was feared. So we used floating water to dissolve those chemicals and let them out of the lab,” a senior fire official at the spot said. The lab had other highly inflamable material and could have been far worse, but for the immediate intervention, he added.

Investigation launched

Abhinav Khare, Director, FSL – Madiwala, said they have launched an investigation into the matter and would only comment after the report. “A sample from Raichur was being tested when the explosion happened. The person who carried out the explosion is severely injured and is undergoing a surgery. Only a probe can establish what led to the explosion,” he said.

Meanwhile, city police have also registered a case and have launched a parallel probe. “I have directed Isha Pant, DCP (South East) to probe the cause of the explosion and submit a report,” said city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:19:56 PM |

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