Enquiry set up under the chief fire officer; CCTV camera footage of the premises to be checked to find out how joint between LPG tank and the pipe got damaged
An emergency vehicle of Mahanagar Gas enter Kasturba hospital on Saturday
The BMC has asked the chief fire officer (CFO) to conduct an enquiry into Saturday’s gas leak incident at Kasturba hospital. Sources in the fire brigade said it is a definite case of negligence and that responsibility will be determined after the enquiry. CCTV camera footage will be examined as the joint between the LPG tank and the pipeline was broken because of which around 1 metric tonne of gas leaked, officials said.
Fire officials, in the presence of experts from the gas company, also completed the process of decanting where approximately three metric tonnes of liquified petroleum gas was transferred to gas tankers safely. The tank, which was of about 10 metric tonnes capacity, had about four metric tonnes of gas when the incident was reported. The officials’ prime concern was to stop the leak. A paste was applied to the damaged portion and the leak reduced. Then water was sprayed in the air around the area as it reduces the gas’s potential to cause damage.
Residents of a chawl at NM Joshi Marg left their houses after smelling the gas leak. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Construction on premises
A huge tragedy was averted on Saturday when fire officials managed to arrest the leak before experts arrived, as the fire department was well-equipped with HAZMAT instruments and sealing materials. The neighbouring building was evacuated for safety purposes and the electricity was cut off. “There are stringent norms in place to conduct periodical checks in case of leakage or any damage to the tank or its outlets. There was definite negligence on the part of someone. There was construction activity ongoing on the premises. We need to check if it’s a case of ignorance of maintenance or the fault of the contractor undertaking the construction. To verify if labourers at work were involved, we will check the CCTV footage,” said a senior fire official not willing to be named.
Further, the hospital wing from where 58 patients and 19 staff were shifted has been made operational. The Covid-19 laboratory where RT-PCR tests are conducted will be operational from Monday.
While LPG gas was being used for cooking and sterilisation, the tank where the leak took place is now rendered useless until a competent authority fixes it. The tank has been filled with water so that residual gas does not leak further, said officials.
“The CFO will conduct an enquiry and a report is likely to be submitted in the next two days. The hospital wing [located near the leak] is fully functional and patients are back to their original place,” said a civic official.