Major disaster averted at Dimapur Puja pandal
DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 11
A MAJOR disaster was averted in Dimapur on Friday with the timely and courageous action of the public as well as Fire Brigade personnel that prevented a cylinder from bursting. The incident happened at the site of the Durga Puja pandal at Signal Basti, adjacent to Eastern Mirror office. The cylinder which caught fire injured a woman and created panic all over as people were seen running for safety as soon as the alarm was raised. For almost 25 minutes after the cylinder caught fire at around 11.30 am, the devotees at the Puja pandal and colony residents experienced a tense and panicky moment.
Watching from the terrace of Eastern Mirror office, the site almost resembled a movie as devotees and colony residents reacted to the situation with fright and doubtful minds. Some residents who seemed to be not so sure of what really happened were seen rushing towards the exact spot while others who seemed to have got the correct information were escaping from the site fearing that the cylinder might blast any moment.
The Puja pandal located just a few feet away from a transformer could also have been another reason why it troubled the minds of the colony residents. Some of them later said they were at first misinformed that the nearby transformer caught fire.
The cylinder caught fire inside one of the kitchens used for the Puja celebrations. But before the fire could spread further, some volunteers tried their best to douse off the ‘fire-caught-cylinder’ by using water and cloth materials, but to no avail. Within no time, they took the cylinder outside and tried to douse it again. This too didn’t work out.
As was witnessed, one brave volunteer caught hold of the cylinder with the help of a wet cloth and dumped it in a nearby drain filled with water and grass. This somehow worked in reducing the flame, but it was the use of sand by volunteers which fully doused the burning cylinder.
Fire tenders also arrived at the site by five past 12 and later helped in emptying the gas cylinder putting it out of danger.
The injured woman with burns on her body and hands reportedly has been admitted at Metro Hospital, Dimapur. Her condition is said to be out of danger.
It was informed that the cylinder caught fire while making khisris for the celebrations. The injured woman reportedly was the person involved in making the khisris.
Except the panicky moment created for a while, the situation didn’t disturb the ongoing Puja celebration which began on Friday. By the time the cylinder was successfully doused, devotees were seen pouring in to perform rituals to Maa Durga.