It was supposed to be a simple job of replacing an empty cylinder with a filled one. But, things went horribly wrong for a family in a Nerul apartment. The incident occurred at the CIDCO-built Panchratna society in Sector 16, Nerul.
Around 11 pm, Shalaka Tondwalkar and her husband replaced the empty cylinder with a new, filled one. However, they didn’t place the regulator properly and gas started leaking
On Monday night, around 11 pm, Shalaka Tondwalkar (51) ran out of gas. She asked her husband, Ravindra, to help her exchange the empty cylinder with the fresh one. After doing so, the couple didn’t realise that the regulator on the new cylinder had not been affixed properly. Gas started leaking from it, and about 20-25 minutes later, the family realised it.
About 20 minutes later, the family realised that LPG gas had leaked. But their son Sachin made the mistake of switching off the electricity supply. The spark from the switch triggered the blast
However, their son, Sachin (24), made the mistake of trying to switch off the electricity supply. No sooner did he flick the switch, than the spark fuelled the gas and the cylinder exploded. The impact was so powerful that the wall of the kitchen in their second-floor flat went crashing down.
The blast causes the kitchen wall of the apartment to fall on Tukaram Dighe and Sangeeta Deokar, killing them
It was a terrible tragedy for two people who went running outside their building to see what the sudden blast was all about. The broken portion of the Tondwalkar’s kitchen wall crushed them.
The cylinder blast was so powerful that it ripped the wall off in the second-floor apartment at Panchratna society. Pic/Sameer Markande
The dead were identified as Tukaram Dighe (55), who lived on the ground floor and Sangeeta Deokar (53), who resided in a first-floor apartment. Tukaram’s daughter Prachi (27) was also injured in the incident.
Vatsala Joshi (66) were among the 12 injured in the blast
Fire engines from Vashi, CBD Belapur and Nerul fire stations immediately rushed to the spot. Four vehicles were involved in the cooling work, which went on till the wee hours of Tuesday. A fire official on the spot said Deokar’s body was found below the staircase of the building.
Sahil Kadam (10)
Vijay Rane, chief fire officer, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation said, “The gas must’ve leaked for some time before the blast. In such cases, explosions do not happen immediately. The electric connections of all homes were disconnected, as damage had already been caused to other homes, apart from the one where the blast took place.”
Senior Police Inspector Rajkumar Chaphekar of Nerul police station said, “It’s purely an accident. Nobody is at fault. But, the son shouldn’t have fiddled with the switch.” Besides the two casualties, twelve persons were injured in the freak incident. They were rushed to Shushrusha Hospital in Sector 6 and Dr DY Patil Hospital in Sector 9 of Nerul.
Dr SR Tarlekar from Shushrusha Hospital told MiD DAY, “A total of five patients arrived at the hospital, among which one had already died. From the remaining four, Shalaka Tondwalkar suffered a skull fracture and was put on ventilator.” Another boy, seven-year-old Sohan Pawar, suffered a large scalp injury about 20 cm long. Some of them were discharged today, he added. Eight patients were admitted to Dr DY Patil Hospital, which included two women and two children.
Tukaram Dighe (55)
Sangeeta Deokar (53)
Ravindra Tondwalkar (51)
Sachin Tondwalkar (24)
Shalaka Tondwalkar (51)
Sohan Pawar (7)
Mangesh Tombare (24)
Nitin Shinde (27)
Sanjay Joshi (45)
Savita Solkar (65)
Vatsala Joshi (66)
Prachi Dighe (27)
Sneha Kadam (16)
Sahil Kadam (10)