Damaged gas pipeline sets off fire in Kanjurmarg, 3 workers injured

Six workers were repairing the pipeline when an earthmover scraped and damaged it. The escaping high-pressure gas then came in contact with a parallel electric wire, sparking a fire

Within minutes of the outbreak, the flames grew into a ball of fireWithin minutes of the outbreak, the flames grew into a ball of fire

Three workers sustained burns in a fire that broke out early on Tuesday at Kanjurmarg after gas from a damaged pipeline came in contact with a parallel electric wire.

The three were part of a team of six workers who got down into a 3-ft-deep pit to repair the Mahanagar Gas pipeline at Gandhi Nagar, LBS Road, in Kanjurmarg. Around 2.15 am, their earthmover scraped the pipeline, damaging it. The escaping gas then came in touch with an electric wire running parallel to the pipeline, sparking a fire. As the flames grew, the workers scampered to escape the pit.

The earthmover that caught fire. The officials' first priority was to douse this fire. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Mohad Pawar (35), a resident of Bhusawal in Jalgaon district who moved to the city just 15 days ago and sustained minor burns on his face and hands in the fire, said there were four workers in the pit when the fire broke out. "Within no time, the fire grew. By the time we climbed out of the pit, we were burned. I managed to get out quickly and ended up with only injuries to my face and hands. Two other workers, however, sustained severe burns and could barely walk on their own."

Out of danger
All injured workers were rushed to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, where those with minor injuries were administered first aid and released. Two workers — Ram Singh Rathod (31), with 40 per cent burns, and Gajanan Jadhav (22), with 20 per cent burns, however, were admitted to the hospital.

Gajanan Jadhav sustained 20 per cent burns in the accident
Gajanan Jadhav sustained 20 per cent burns in the accident

A doctor said only one of three workers sustained serious injuries and was being kept under observation. "All injured persons are out of danger."

All hands on deck
Five fire engines and a water tanker doused the fire in two hours with the help of the Parksite police, the traffic police and Mahanagar Gas staff.

Somnath Jaybhaye, assistant divisional fire officer, said, "Our first priority was to control the fire in the earthmover since it was loaded with diesel. Once that was doused, the gas supply was cut and firefighting operations in the pit were launched."

Cooling operations being taken up in the pit where the fire broke out

Sanjeev Gautam, the contractor for the repairs, claimed that all safety measures were in place during the work.

As firefighting operations got underway, traffic on the one-way road was shut till this morning.

A Parksite police officer said an investigation is on.

Attributed to a Mahanagar Gas Limited spokesperson:

"During ongoing work near Gandhi Nagar junction in Kanjurmarg this morning, an incident occurred leading to a minor fire outbreak. MGL's emergency response team was immediately activated and the fire was jointly extinguished along with the local fire brigade. No major injuries were sustained during this incident and MGL is putting its best efforts to rectify the damage."

Attributed to a Mahanagar Gas Limited spokesperson:

"During ongoing work near Gandhi Nagar junction in Kanjurmarg this morning, an incident occurred leading to a minor fire outbreak. MGL's emergency response team was immediately activated and the fire was jointly extinguished along with the local fire brigade. No major injuries were sustained during this incident and MGL is putting its best efforts to rectify the damage."

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