Kanpur: At least five persons died and many others are feared trapped inside a cold storage building, which collapsed near here on Wednesday after an explosion apparently due to high pressure in an ammonia gas “receiver”, police said.
The incident took place in Katiyar Cold Storage in Shivrajpur of the Kanpur district.
At the time of blast, a large number of farmers, labourers and staff members were present and busy stacking potato. Nine injured have been pulled out in the rescue operation, which was initially hit by leakage of ammonia gas from the cold storage.
Prima facie, police officials told IANS, it appeared that the “receiver” of ammonia gas in the cold storage exploded due to high pressure and it brought down the four-storey building.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Ramayan Singh, while confirming the death of five persons, said the others were being treated for serious injuries at the Hallet hospital.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is at the accident site to pull out people from the rubble. Around 12 JCB machines have also been pressed into service to clear the debris.
Owner of the cold storage Lalla Katiyar is absconding after the incident. People on the spot alleged that while the capacity of the cold storage was one lakh sacks of potato, there was much more stocked, which apparently led to more pressure on the gas receiver inside.