Mumbai: The state consumer commission has held Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) “solely responsible” for an LPG cylinder blast that claimed the lives of three women at a Kalyan home in 2007.
Upholding a district forum order, the commission recently ordered HPCL to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the two children of the deceased cylinder owner, Bharati Nimase.
Varsha and Nilesh Nimase were 17 and 13 years old when their widowed mother died. They had registered the complaint through their maternal uncle in 2007.
On April 6, 2007, Bharati had finished performing her morning pooja and lit the lamps. She then went to the kitchen to cook food and realised the cylinder was empty. When Bharati was switching cylinders, the leaking gas came in contact with a lit Diya and resulted in an explosion.
After a district forum ruled against HPCL in 2015 and awarded compensation to Bharati’s children, the corporation submitted an appeal before the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 2016.
Pinning responsibility for the accident on Bharati, HPCL submitted before the commission that she was using a rubber tubing and regulator that was neither approved nor standardised.
The state commission pointed to the report from the fire officer at the Kalyan fire station, saying it stated that the gas leaked due to the presence of an oblique pin instead of a straight one in the valve of the mouth of the cylinder and, even before connecting the tubing, it spread and the explosion took place.
The commission declared that HPCL was blameworthy for deficiency of service and would have to pay compensation as ordered by the forum.