Boiler explosion kills three in Dombivali

Mumbai boiler BlastThe boiler, around 20 feet in height and cylindrical in shape, weighed more than 50 tonnes. Deepak Joshi

A Boiler used in chemical refineries exploded in an open scrap godown in MIDC area in Dombivali Friday, killing three people. A huge chunk of the boiler was flung almost a kilometre from the explosion site.

The explosion killed two workers, who were dismantling the boiler using a gas cutter, on the spot, police said. While a chunk, which was flung a kilometre away, killed a driver who was cleaning a car, another landed atop a shanty wrecking it. The explosion also caused tremors in nearby buildings and metal pieces shattered window panes.

"It sounded like a bomb blast and before we could know what had happened, a metal sheet of about 300 kgs came crashing through my terrace and shattered my makeshift roof. My father was seated next to the roof but he escaped miraculously. The sheet was so heavy that it took six people to lift it later. There were more than eight people at my house preparing for a party at night for our 26th wedding anniversary," said Mahesh Lahote, a businessperson.

Mahilan Yadav, 35, who eked out his living as a driver lost his life when hit by a chunk of the boiler.

The explosion occurred when Vijay Ramkrishna Gaur (40) and Kailas Rajbhar (55) were trying to cut the boiler using a gas cutter in the godown in Davdi village near MIDC in Dombivali, fire brigade officials and Manpada police said. Gaur and Rajbhar were immediately thrown off and their bodies were charred.

Two other people working in the godown Ramkishan Sahani (35) and Vikas Sharma (38) suffered multiple injuries and have been admitted at AIMS hospital in Dombivali. They are in critical condition, police added.

The boiler, around 20 feet in height and cylindrical in shape, weighed more than 50 tonnes. The roofless godown was being used to store industrial scrap, police added.

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