Kannur: The devastating gas tanker lorry explosion at Chala bypass road here on Monday night claimed the lives of two persons, even as nearly a dozen people with severe burns are battling for their lives at three hospitals here. Sreeni layam Veetil Sreelatha, 47, of Chala and Abdul Azeez, 55, are the deceased. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the dead and Rs 3 lakh to 5 lakh to those who sustained above 40 per cent burns. The medical expenses of all the victims will be met by the government.
Sreelatha succumbed to her injuries around 9 am on Tuesday at the Koily Hospital. Sreelatha was asleep in her house when the gas tanker exploded. Abdul Azeez died at the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital in the evening. Most of the 42 victims who sustained injuries were asleep when disaster struck. It all happened around 11 pm on Monday when the tanker lorry of the Indian Oil Corporation carrying liquefied petroleum gas from Mangalore to Kozhikode hit a roaddivider near the Chala temple.
As the inflammable gas started leaking, driver Kanniah, a native of Tamil Nadu, realised the danger and alerted the people living nearby on the impending disaster. By the time many ran to safety, the leaked gas had caused three explosions spreading panic in the area and causing a wave of destruction and fire. Nearly 24 houses and 17 shops along the road were destroyed.
The devastating gas tanker lorry explosion at Chala bypass road in Kannur on Monday night claimed two lives.
The intensity of explosions was so powerful that the fire spread as far as two kilometres away from the spot. Said Indulekha, one of the victims who managed to escape with severe burn injuries: “Buildings seemed to tremble, and we thought it was an earthquake”.
It took nearly an hour for the police and the fire and rescue service personnel from different centres of Kannur and the neighbouring districts to reach the spot and douse the fire. As the railway track is near the Chala bypass, trains were detained at some stations as a precautionary measure. As many as 15 of the seriously injured were admitted to the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital.