Twin LPG cylinder blasts jolt city
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: It was a twin scare for Shillongites on Wednesday afternoon as at least seven people were injured in two separate LPG cylinder blasts occurred in two restaurants belonging to the same owner, within a span of one hour. The LPG cylinders went off at Banana Leaf restaurant at Lummawrie, Laitumkhrah and Madras Cafe in Jail Road area, both owned by Raja Ratnam. Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime) Vivek Syiem ruled out any possibility of sabotage behind the blasts. “The leakage in the LPG cylinders caused the explosions,” said Syiem. Investigation is on and in a few days a clearer picture about the two incidents will be available, Syiem added. According to eyewitnesses, the first cylinder blast occurred at Banana Leaf restaurant at around 2 pm wherein four people were badly injured including two minors who worked in the restaurant. The injured — Saibul Islam (14), Nabo Deep Rabha (15), Ninanja Satnami (22) and Deepak Satnami (25) — were immediately admitted to the Nazareth Hospital. The LPG cylinder which exploded in the restaurant was found missing and police search were on for the cylinder, Superintendent of Police, AR Mawthoh said. Another LPG cylinder went off at Madras Café at Jail Road, Police Bazaar at 3 pm causing huge damage to all the shops in the complex. Chapala Book Stall, one of the oldest book shops in the city, was gutted in the fire. Three injured employees of Madras Café — Vijay Chettri (27), Raju Satnome (22) and Shupul Tudu (23) — were later rushed to the Nazareth Hospital. No passers-by was, however, injured though the blast caused damage to car windshields and windows panes of nearby houses.