Five dead, one hurt as gas tanker explodes
Mulbagal (Kolar dist), Feb 12 (DHNS): Five people were killed when a gas tanker exploded and vehicles following it and coming from the opposite direction caught fire on NH-4 at Sigenahalli in the taluk on Monday. One of the victims had been identified as Annehalli Keshava.
The bodies of the others were mutilated beyond recognition.
Four of the victims had died by the time they were taken to hospital. Another severely injured died in hospital. One has been admitted to R L Jalappa Hospital in Kolar. Sources said the toll is likely to go up. The entire accident spot was strewn with body parts of the victims and splinters from the vehicles involved in the accident.
There are two versions on the accident. While one says that the gas tanker collided with a sand-laden lorry coming from the opposite direction, leading to the leakage of gas, the other has it that the tanker rammed into a roadside tree, resulting in gas leak.
The tanker, bound for Chittoor from Bangalore, caught fire around 6:30 pm when it approached Narasimhateertha Circle and exploded. The sand-laden lorry, a college bus, a car and a bike also caught fire, injuring the drivers and passengers. The fire spread rapidly to trees and shrubs along the stretch.
The impact of the accident was such that many vehicles, including an empty bus belonging to Sahyadri College which was parked at the nearby petrol bunk, were damaged beyond recognition. Some trees in the vicinity were also uprooted.
The tanker fell into a nearby tank, said an eyewitness. Alerted by passersby, the fire force reached the spot and doused the fire after an operation that lasted several hours.
A bigger disaster was averted as the accident did not spark off fire in the nearby petrol bunk. The compound wall of the bunk was damaged completely. Supply of electricity was cut off as a precautionary measure and the police had a tough time controlling the crowd that gathered at the spot.
District Superintendent of Police Ram Nivas Sepat said the situation was under control and the cause of the accident would be ascertained after the investigation.