Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Fire Services DG Satyajit Mohanty today informed that the area around the petrol pump near Raj Bhawan where a massive explosion left a trail of destruction Wednesday afternoon is now safe from any potential hazard.

As per reports, a team of IOCL reached the petrol pump from Balasore yesterday and removed LPG from an intact tanker present at the site.

“In a late-night operation, the team from IOCL removed the LPG gas from the tanker that was at the site of yesterday’s explosion. The area around the Raj Bhawan petrol pump is now safe from any potential hazard,” tweeted Mohanty.

Speaking to OTV, the Fire Services DG said, “A major mishap was averted yesterday due to the prompt response by the fire services. Three fire tender units rushed to the spot minutes after getting the information and the fire was brought under control within 10-12 minutes.”

“The gas has been evacuated from the tankers and shifted to safe location in the morning. However, petrol is still there in underground tanker but there is no potential hazard from it and the area is safe now,” added the Fire Services DG.

However, the Commissionerate Police has informed that even though the salvage operation to remove remaining LPG was completed at 6.30 AM today, the operation to evacuate stored petrol and diesel from the filing station is currently on.

The police further mentioned that as area where the mishap occurred is very much an active site, the security precautions and restrictions on road traffic will continue till we declare the place safe.

“We expect operations to end by 2 PM today,” added the Commissionerate Police.

At least nine persons were injured, two of them critically after a CNG storage unit at the petrol pump exploded at around 1.30 PM yesterday ejecting a massive fire.

One person has succumbed to injuries while another stated to be in critical condition is undergoing treatment at Cuttack SCB.

The intensity of the explosion was so high that glass window panels of government quarters and building located in 100-metre radius of the mishap site were damaged. The impact of the blast could be felt within two km radius of the site.

Eyewitness said shoes, bloodstains and mutilated body parts including limbs, hand, ear and fingers could be seen strewn around the blast spot. Two-wheelers and cars which were at the petrol pump also sustained extensive damage.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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