Two fire-fighters killed, probe panel formed

Birgunj, December 20

Two fire-fighters lost their lives and three were injured while fighting fire in a gas factory fire in Parsa today.

Firemen Madhusudan Mishra and Yadavraj Adhikari were killed when flames engulfed their fire engine after a gas cylinder exploded in Super Gas Industry in Patelnagar, Birgunj. Both were employees of fire department in Birgunj. While Mishra hailed from Dumre in Tanahun, Adhikari was from  Lalbandi in Sarlahi.

Two fire-fighters — Sabin Nepal and Arun Kumar Mahato — were seriously injured in the incident and have been sent to Kathmandu for treatment.

Nepal is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kirtipur, while Mahato is being treated in Bir Hospital. Another member of the fire brigade, Ambika Patel, is being treated in Birgunj.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire and suspect that fire was triggered by gas leakage while unloading cylinders.

The fire that began at about 6:00am was brought under control after eight hours with the help of technicians from gas industries of Bara and Parsa and fire brigades from Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Raxaul (in India). Earlier, police had evacuated people from their houses near the factory fearing more explosions.

Parsa police chief Superintendent of Police Ganesh Regmi said people were allowed to return to their houses after the fire was brought under control.

The main building of the factory, a few vehicles and equipment were damaged in the blaze. Police are yet to estimate the extent of damage caused by the blaze.

Meanwhile, LP Gas Industry Association has formed a five-member committee to investigate cause of the blaze. The panel is headed by former association chair Shiva Ghimire and is expected to submit its report in five days.