Methane may have caused blast at sewage plant

Jul 31, 2013, 00:59 IST | A Correspondent

According to officials, the Pune Municipal Corporation has not approved the sewage treatment plant (STP), where a blast took place on Monday.

Officials said that there was permission to make a building , but not the STP. Three people, injured in the blast, are still in serious condition. The police seek a report by experts to ascertain the cause. A case will be filed after a probe.

Fallen apart: The owners of the sewage plant had not got requisite permission from the authorities. Pic/Krunal Gosavi 

The incident took place at Shravandhara society in Sasanenagar at Hadapsar. Methane had accumulated at the STP ignited, leading to the explosion. The chairman of the society and two other members sustained burn injuries.

“Initial investigation has shown there was methane at the STP, which we think caused the blast. Our drainage department officials visited the spot on Tuesday. Police are investigating too,” said Sanjay Gawade, assistant commissioner, solid waste management, PMC.

The sewage treatment plant is between buildings with a parking space. VG Kulkarni, the superintendent engineer and head of the water and sewage treatment department said, “Usually methane is generated at an STP. The vents to release the gas may have been blocked.

"Drainage department officials said that the society has not taken permission from the PMC to construct the STP. “The STP plant is neither registered with us nor have we got any proposal for the same. When we sanction STPs we make sure they are built away from buildings. We can give a more detailed comment only after the police investigation is over,” said Kulkarni.

Raghunath Jadhav, police inspector with Hadapsar Police station, said, “Our investigation is on and we are seeking guidance from a technical expert. After getting the expert’s report we will take necessary action.” S P Pandharkar, police inspector, crime, said, “The blast took place as there was no exhaust system for the gas.”

Hot air
A similar incident took place at a garbage duct due to accumulation of methane in a duct at Colonnade building in Kharadi.

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