Six charred to death in cylinder blast at JVPD in Mumbai

Two women and child among those killed in late-night horror; probe reveals labourers lived in dingy conditions


Charred remains of the explosion spot

Five labourers and a child were charred to death, while 12 others suffered severe burn injuries, after a cooking gas cylinder exploded at an under-construction site in Vile Parle, late last night.

The injured are currently undergoing treatment at Cooper Hospital, where the condition of four is said to be critical. Two women and a child were among those dead. The bodies are yet to be identified as they were charred beyond recognition.

According to the police, at around 10 pm, an LPG cylinder exploded in the 13-storey under-construction Prarthana building, at Kaifi Azmi Park near JVPD, Vile Parle (West). Police inquiry indicated that the incident took place due to an LPG leak, when the cylinder was being used for cooking. "The fire was brought under control immediately. Damaged LPG cylinders, as well as stoves were found at the site, which caused intense fire at the initial stage," said Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale.

Locals said that work had been going on at the site for the last three years. Labourers from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal worked at the under-construction highrise, with many living with their families in accommodations provided within the building.

The preliminary probe has revealed that safety standards were not met when making accommodation arrangements. The workers were put up inside dingy, wooden box-like structures, closely stacked together. "The inmates were housed in 15 to 17 makeshift rooms," said Rahangdale.

The Juhu police have registered a case of death due to negligence against unknown persons as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, the Vile Parle Labour Union has demanded an investigation into the living conditions of the workers. "We still don’t know who the contractor is, but he must be held responsible," said Ramrao Yemla, deputy secretary of the union.

with inputs from Gaurav Sarkar and Chetna Yerunkar

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