Bhubaneswar petrol pump explosion: Residents say never experienced anything so terrifying

Bhubaneswar,News Today ,08th October 2020 : Chunks of roof came crashing down and window panes were shattered as a deafening sound ripped through the buildings located in the vicinity of the petrol pump where the LPG storage tank exploded on Wednesday afternoon leaving people traumatised.

Many claimed they never had experienced anything as terrifying as this one. “We were having lunch when we heard a loud noise. In fraction of a second, the window panes were smashed and chunks of roof fell on the floor. As dust enveloped the house, we locked the door and ran out in fear,” said Asutosh Palit, a lawyer who resides just 70 metre away from the petrol bunk.

Asutosh and his wife were in a state of shock when they saw chunks of flesh lying outside the gate of their house.  “It was horrifying. Without delaying a second, we moved to a friends’ place in Old Town,” he said. Palit appealed the Government to shift the petrol bunk or at least the LPG storage facility if safety protocols are not being followed.

Right behind the filling station is senior BJP leader and former Minister Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo’s house. Singhdeo was in Patnagarh when the incident happened. “However, everyone in the house is in a state of shock. There is no power and we do not know the damage to the building,” sources said adding, the senior BJP leader was on his way to Bhubaneswar.

The service station is located in a peculiar location with hosts of residential buildings, comprising General Administration (GA) quarters of politicians and bureaucrats as well as apartments in Unit-VI area within 100 to 150 metre radius and most sustained damage.

Impact of the explosion was so powerful that window panes of most houses in 150 metre vicinity of the petrol bunk were shattered.

IPS officer and Transport Commissioner Sanjeeb Panda, whose official quarter is barely 30 metres away from the fuel station, said that all the window panes in his house were shattered in the explosion, though no one was hurt. “Though I wasn’t at home. Other family members were there. We are lucky that we had changed the normal window panels with toughened glass. Otherwise it could have led to serious injuries,” he said.

Gagan Bihari Das, who resides in a Government quarter 120 metres away from the spot, also said, “the blast was so strong that a large glass panel in our quarter fell on the ground. Luckily, I escaped unhurt.”

A retired judge and a minor girl, residents of Ambedkar Enclave, located just behind the petrol bunk, sustained injuries. The enclave, having 32 apartments in four blocks, houses 30 families. The explosion prompted many of them to move to other parts in the city. Some now fear to return. “Two of the blocks in our enclave sustained massive damage.

Two families approached us saying that they do not want to live here anymore because of the explosion”, said SK Lenka, resident and secretary of Ambedkar Enclave. The residents urged the State Government to intervene for their safety and urged it to compensate the damage to houses and their belongings.

They also said that as the Government is planning piped gas connection for all households in the city, there should be adequate awareness on it before introducing such an advanced facility.

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