A man stares at what remains of his house after the fire in Maidan Gali. (Bishwarup Dutta)
Several homes were gutted after an LPG cylinder exploded in a shanty at Maniktala on Wednesday morning. Two women were injured.
Seven fire tenders took 90 minutes to douse the fire that was sparked by the explosion at 242B Maniktala Main Road in Maidan Gali around 10.45am. The flames had spread to adjacent shanties by the time the fire engines reached the spot.
Manju Das, 65, and her 19-year-old daughter-in-law Aparna were preparing lunch in the first-floor kitchen of their house when the cylinder exploded. The two were trapped in the house as the flames spread within second.
They were rescued by neighbours and taken to Calcutta Medical College.
“Manju received 50 per cent burns while Aparna sustained 10 per cent burns. They are out of danger,” said a doctor at the hospital.
Neighbour Amit Shaw was preparing to head for work when he heard the explosion and rushed out.
“I saw flames and a curtain of thick black smoke. We saw the two women trying to get out of the house. Some youths dragged them out,” said Shaw.
In another incident, a printing press was destroyed at 4/51 Convent Road in Entally around 4am on Wednesday. Three tenders took two hours to control the blaze. Nobody was in the press when the fire broke out.
The press is located near Motijheel Primary School. “The school starts at 8am. Thankfully the fire broke out much before that,” said a fireman.
The press was stocked with papers, cardboards and other inflammable material. The firemen suspect a short circuit led to the fire.