Mystery explosion injures two in Darjeeling
Two persons were injured on Friday evening following an unexplained explosion at a house in Bhotay Busty in Darjeeling. They have been admitted at a private hospital in Siliguri with burn injuries.
Police and the fire department have not been able to ascertain the cause of the explosion and the services of forensic experts have been sought. According to the police, at the time of the incident around 4:40pm, Lucky Bhutia (11), the niece of the house owner, and Hemlata Subba (56), a neighbour, were in the house.
“As per our initial findings and questioning, the 11-year-old girl smelt something pungent and called Subba, who started checking the cooking gas cylinders while Bhutia went to another room. All of a sudden there was a big blast and the two were engulfed in fire,” said a senior police official not wishing to be named.
Another neighbour said the girl had gone to the house to fetch some of her belongings when the blast occurred. “The girl stays nearby and is related to the owner. She had come to take some of her belongings when the blast took place,” said the neighbour.
Interestingly, the house owner's name is Keshar Rai, one of the accused and charge-sheeted in the Madan Tamang murder case. Rai is presently on bail and but is not permitted to stay in the hills. His wife Kalpana was not present at the time as she was visiting relatives.
Surprisingly, although the window panes and doors of the rooms were badly damaged and the iron railings surrounding the concrete house bent by the blast, two LPG cylinders were not affected.
“The fire department has said the gas cylinders were not responsible for the blast. We have requested forensic experts to investigate the case. The house has been sealed,” said Amit Javalgi, the Darjeeling police superintendent. (EOIC)