Two die due to burns in tanker lorry explosion

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Two persons, including a woman, who suffered severe burns after an LPG tanker overturned and exploded at Chala near here last night, succumbed to their injuries at a hospital on on Tuesday, police said.

Both were residing in houses close to the spot on the national highway, where the tanker overturned after hitting a divider and exploded triggering a fire which spread to nearby houses and shops in the area, police said.

More than 30 people suffered burns of which the condition of 12 was stated to be critical. The injured had been admitted to Kannur Pariyaram Medical College hospital and other nearby hospitals.

Fire and Rescue units from neighbouring districts were summoned to fight the raging fire which was brought under control after several hours, sources said.

Over 15 houses, 12 shops and some vehicles, were destroyed in the fire, police said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who visited the injured at three hospitals, announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the family of 50-year-old Sreelatha, who died in the incident.

55-year-old Abdul Azeez died after the Chief Minister's announcement came, officials sources said.

He told reporters that the tanker lorry involved in the explosion belonged to IOC and he had asked top officials of the company to pay compensation to the victims.

Those who had suffered above 40 per cent burns would be given Rs 3 to 5 lakh assistance and those who suffered below 40 per cent burns would be given upto Rs two lakh, he said.

Police said the driver and the cleaner of the tanker lorry fled from the scene soon after the accident.

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