Gas leak turned Shimla eatery into ‘Giant Bomb,’ Injured 13 and claims One Life: SP

Shimla, July 19

In a shocking incident that left the citizens of Shimla in awe and fear, a gas leak in the basement floor of a a building which housed a popular food eatery, Himachali Rasoi, located near Mall Road in Middle Bazaar, resulted in a massive explosion on Tuesday evening. The incident injured 13 people and tragically claimed one life. The impact of the blast was so intense that it damaged six to eight nearby shops and residences and could be heard up to a kilometre away.

Also read:One dead, nine injured in mysterious blast in a food eatery at Middle bazar near Mall Road

Addressing the media, S.P. Shimla, Sanjeev Gandhi, revealed that the preliminary investigation indicated that the explosion was not caused by an LPG cylinder blast, as initially speculated. Instead, the accumulated gas leak inside the eatery premises acted like a bomb, leading to the powerful explosion. The explosion was so forceful that it caused a hole two floors above on the ground floor of a neighboring showroom.

“The gas leak had been ongoing for some time within the three side closed chamber of the eatery, which acted as a basement floor,” stated S.P. Gandhi. “The situation turned dire as the leaked gas converted the eatery into a giant bomb, resulting in the impactful explosion. Furthermore, the presence of a refrigeration compressor in the premises might have amplified the blast’s impact.”

The tragedy affected around 14 people, leaving one person dead and 13 others injured. Five injured victims are currently receiving medical treatment, and eight have been discharged. Authorities are providing all necessary support to the affected families, he added.

An on-site inspection by the Chief Fire Officer Shimla revealed that though a couple of intact cylinders were found at the blast site, but no evidence of any blasted cylinder was discovered in the vicinity. This further strengthened the theory that gas leakage was the primary cause of the explosion.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. The SIT comprises experts from the Forensic Department and officers from the Himachal Pradesh Police. They are diligently examining all angles, including possible human errors, to determine the exact sequence of events that led to the tragedy.

Additionally, a neighboring jeweler has come forward and affirmed that they had noticed a lingering smell of gas in the area in the days leading up to the incident. This observation supports the theory of a gas leak having been present in the eatery’s vicinity before the explosion occurred.

Here it is pertinent to mention that the eatery, Himachali Rasoi, was closed for maintenance on the day of the incident, with only a few staff members present at the time. Had there been customers in the premises, more damage could have been caused. Authorities are thoroughly investigating the maintenance activities and the overall safety measures taken at the eatery.

As the investigation unfolds, the citizens of Shimla are left in distress, seeking answers about the tragic incident that shook their peaceful city. The most prominent query raised by concerned citizens centers around the apparent contradiction: If the gas leak from the cylinder caused the explosion, why did the very cylinder from which the gas leaked remain completely intact? The SIT has promised to deliver its report within seven days, and the authorities are assuring the public that all efforts will be made to prevent such incidents in the future.


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