Blast at cold storage facility in Indian Punjab kills four
31 March 2017
Four people died and more than 17 others were injured after an explosion in a cold storage facility in Dhuri near Sangrur, Punjab, on March 31. The incident took place at Guru Nanak Cold Storage and police said the blast occurred due to an ammonia gas leak, which caused the building to collapse leaving the dead and injured buried under the debris.
One of the four killed was a farmer who had come to store his potatoes at the facility, another was foreman working inside the facility and two others were labourers. At least four of the injured are in a critical state in local hospitals.
The Hindustan Times said a large-scale operation was put in place to rescue people trapped under the rubble. Some of them lost consciousness due to the gas leak, and rescue teams of the State Disaster Relief Force and local police carried out the operation, with the help of JCB machines.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced compensation for the families of the dead and injured and has set up an inquiry into the causes of the incident. He also directed the district administration to ensure the strict implementation of regulations for companies using hazardous materials or gases.
In mid-March, six were killed and eight injured in a similar incident at Katiyar Cold Storage in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.