Bhubaneswar: Five days have already elapsed since the massive explosion at the petrol pump situated close to the Raj Bhawan square in this city. However, for those who witnessed the explosion, the nightmare continues. Chandramani Behera a staff of the ill-fated filling station is one of them.
Behera was attending to a customer October 7, just few steps from the spot where the explosion occurred. “I heard a deafening sound and could feel the ground shaking. I looked behind and could not believe what I saw. The explosion flung a man on a bike more than 20 feet in the air. I saw his body getting ripped into pieces. Even as I narrate this terrifying tale to you, I can feel the hairs at the back of my neck bristle with fear,” said Behera.
“Like everyone else, I started running for my life. It was then a heavy iron plate landed on my shoulder and I suffered a fracture,” added the terrified Behera.
He said he had visited the filling station October 10 to collect his bike. However, he was so terrified that he could not set foot on the premises of the petrol pump. Someone else took the bike home for him.
According to Behera, five persons were working at the CNG unit minutes before the explosion. If his statement is to be believed then there has been more than one casualty. So far only one death has been reported due to the explosion. The person identified as Seemanchal Parida has already been cremated. However, according to Behera there could be more than one casualty.
Interestingly police have recovered skulls of two persons from the explosion site along with parts of bones and flesh. This development indicates that there may have been more than one casualty due to the explosion.
When contacted, DCP Umashankar Dash said a missing report has been filed at the Capital police station. The body parts recovered from the spot has been sent to the State Forensic laboratory. DNA samples from Seemanchal’s family members will be collected for matching with the body parts found at the site. “If they do not match, then only we can be sure that there has been more than one casualty,” stated the senior police official.
Those injured including Behera, alleged that they are not getting free treatment. “The IOCL had announced financial allowance for those injured. However, I have not got any assistance,” he said. Behera also informed that all his personal documents are at the pump. He has not been able to get those as the owner cannot be contacted.
Another staff also had a similar type of allegation. He said that he has lost his hearing power since the explosion. “Doctors told me I have suffered permanent damage to the diaphragm. I have since been visiting Capital Hospital and one or two private hospitals but haven’t received any help from the others,” he said.