Monday, 17 October 2011


Burn victims admitted at CRH, 3 referred to Siliguri

Pappu Mallick

PAKYONG/GANGTOK, October 15: Nineteen people sustained burn injuries in various degrees when an idle LPG petromax cylinder exploded in a popular tea shop here at Pakyong bazaar today. Two-year- old Sherap Gyalsten and 13-year- old Tempo Gyatso Bhutia were among the injured in the mishap which occurred at around 1 pm.

            Eyewitnesses informed that there was a massive sound followed by a fire in the shop which was full with customers taking tea and snacks.
            Chandra Prasad (56), who has been running the shop for the past 25 years, has burns in his face, hands and legs. He was sitting at counter when the explosion and subsequent inferno took place. The fire was extinguished by locals.

            Prasad said that he had a 5-litre LPG lamp tucked away on top of a cupboard which had suddenly exploded injuring almost everyone in the shop. The blast was so powerful that the fire it had sparked caught two students and their mother in front of the shop. The victims were rushed to the nearby primary health centre for treatment.

Medical officer Dr Tashi Peggy Chophel informed that all the burn victims were referred to Central Referral Hospital in Gangtok. Among the injured, Tempo Gyatso Bhutia has sustained serious injuries in his head and body, she said.

            The other injured victims are Diwas Pradhan, Sanjay Kumar Paswan, Karma Tshering Bhutia, Purna Bahadur Gurung, Angi Bhutia, Nimchikki Bhutia, Lakki Doma Bhutia, Thakudem Bhutia, Pempa Bhutia, Sahil Namcho, Tularam Sharma, Dilli Ram Sharma, Bijay Kumar Sani, Padam Tamang, Ratan Rai and Suraj Paswan. Three of them have been referred to Siliguri for further treatment.

            “The lamp had been kept few days back and there was no sign or smell of leakages from it. I was in the counter reading a newspaper when the blast took place. The shop was filled with customers as it was lunch time”, said the injured shop owner Prasad to SIKKIM EXPRESS at Central Referral Hospital here.

            “I was eating samosas in the tea shop when I heard a loud blast and almost in the same instant I found myself on fire”, said victim Purna Gurung.

            The East District collector, D Anandan has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

            “Once the inquiry is over and it is proven that it was an accident, the injured will be compensated as per the norms”, said Anandan.

            The Sikkim Manipal University Employees Association has announced to bear all the medical expenses of victim Padam Tamang (60) who does not have any one to look after him.

            “Since the old man does not have any relatives to look after him, the association will take the responsibility of further medical treatment”, said association president Tika Ram Sharma.

            At Pakyong, SDPO Ajay Kumar Rai and his team inspected the damaged shop.

            A case under sections 285, 336, 337 and 338 under IPC has been registered against the shop owner. (Pic Pappu Mallick)

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