Chembur Boiler blast: Residents feared being trapped in the blaze
Residents say had the fire spread, the result would have been catastrophic as there is just one lane out of the area for them
Deafening sound, smoke-filled air and tremors that travelled far made residents of Chembur and Mahul cower in their homes last afternoon. Their biggest fear: Had the fire spread, they would have been trapped in their houses, as there is only one road that leads out of the area and onto the Eastern Freeway. Some also saw their window panes shatter due to the intensity of the blast.
There are over 11,000 houses in the location of which 5,700 are occupied. Residents have been raising their voices over the pathetic living conditions in Mahul; after Wednesday's accident, many have started moving out.
The blast at the BPCL refinery led to tremors, leading to door and windows shattering, as a resident shows. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
Recounting the horror
"Our iron doors, television sets and cupboards shook and even moved. My scared daughter came screaming to me, while a pregnant neighbour laboured her way down and left for her mother's home in an autorickshaw," said Sangeeta Tammata, 30, a resident. A resident of Building 13, Deepak Kamble, said, "Building numbers 39, 30, 8, 13 and 29 felt tremors instantly. My friends from neighbouring buildings immediately gathered downstairs."
Vijaybhaskar Gavai, another resident, said, "We were running helter-skelter, because we heard a deafening noise that sounded like an earthquake. Not to mention, all of us have just one lane to get out, and that would have meant crossing the area where the smoke was coming from. We don't want to live in such conditions."
mid-day had reported just last month about the pathetic conditions — sewerage lines and drainage system between two buildings overflowing and waste strewn on the road in many spots.
According to the health report prepared by an NGO, out of the 575 people tested, all complained of cough, cold and fever. About 60% have been detected with skin diseases and asthma.
Also read: Mahul boiler blast: one critical, 43 hurt
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