Indian Man Dies In Freak Natural Gas Accident

An elderly man in the city of Chennai India recently died after suffering severe burn injuries sustained from the fiery explosion caused by a natural gas accident in his home.  The Times of India reported that 71-year-old Siva Prakasham passed away Saturday morning from the injuries he received in the incident a few days before.

Prakasham had reported a gas leak in his stove to the local gas agency, which sent 35-year-old Harish to investigate the problem.  After changing a faulty tube in the stove, Harish began checking for other possible gas leaks in the home.

While he was working, there was a power outage and the home went dark.  In an effort to help Harish see in the dark, Prakasham lit a match, igniting escaped gas that was still in the home and creating a fiery blast.

The explosion burned approximately 70% of Prakasham’s body and approximately 20% of Harish’s body. Neighbors heard the explosion and rushed to the home to extract the two men. They were taken to the nearby Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.  Harish is still there recovering from his injuries.

Liability & Natural Gas Safety

An investigation of the incident is ongoing. It is unclear whether Harish instructed Prakasham to light the match, or if the latter acted on his own. A relative of the deceased commented on the incident, saying “Harish has been working for many years and had a good reputation among the people in the area. He may have removed the leaking tube, replacing it with a new one, but failed to notice the room had filled with the leaked gas. An unsuspecting Prakasam lit the match stick, triggering the fire.”

It is very important to be safe with gas appliances.  Leaks should be reported to the local gas company immediately, and people should leave all maintenance work to trained professionals.  If a leak is suspected, do switch electrical appliances on or off as they may cause a spark.

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