Tanker fire claims 1, hurts 23

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A young tribal woman died on the spot and 23 persons were injured – seven of them critically – after a speeding fuel tanker rammed a culvert, overturned into a ditch and subsequently burst into flames on Wednesday while attempting to negotiate a bend on the Garhi Mogargaon road near Anjan village in this district’s Bistan Police Station limits.

According to Collector Kumar Purushottam, “Those who sustained burns were rushed to the District infirmary from where 17 were referred to Indore’s Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital. The others are reported to be stable. In excess of 100 villagers – including women – carrying utensils reached the wreck in a bid to collect fuel and many of them were hurt. The deceased was identified as Rangubai. Ex gratia is being provided to the next of kin. A BPCL team from Khandwa inspected the scene and reported to me.”

SP DS Yadav said that the blaze could have erupted owing to sparking in the battery or use of cellular phones by the rustics. Driver Pawan Chouhan and cleaner Lokesh Solanki absconded but the former was later placed under arrest.