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Shimla Hotel Blast: Gas Leak Suspected To Be Cause, Says DGP

The blast occurred Tuesday evening at Himachali Rasoi restaurant, known for serving Himachali cuisines, located in Middle Bazaar adjacent to the fire brigade office on Mall Road in the heart of the city.

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Police on Wednesday said a gas leak apparently led to the blast at an eating joint here, killing one person and injuring 13 others.

The blast occurred Tuesday evening at Himachali Rasoi restaurant, known for serving Himachali cuisines, located in Middle Bazaar adjacent to the fire brigade office on Mall Road in the heart of the city.

Preliminary investigation and forensic examination have pointed out that the gas leak led to the blast but we are still probing all the angles till the final report is received, Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu, who visited the blast site on Wednesday, said.

Shimla is a tourist place and such incidents cannot be taken lightly, he said.

He asked the Shimla superintendent of police to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) aided by forensic experts to get to the root of the cause of the incident.

There are so many eateries and hotels here with gas, electric supply, compressor or fridge facilities and we would ask the authorities concerned to check the safety measures at these places, Kandu said.

An injured person told the police that there was a major liquified petroleum gas leak from two cylinders that led to the blast, SP, Shimla, Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said. 

The number of injured persons was 13 and eight of them have been discharged from the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital (IGMCH) Shimla, while one is critical, he told PTI.

Locals had complained of a gas leak about 20 minutes before the explosion. 

The intensity of the blast was such that window panes of several shops and houses in the vicinity were broken and the sound was heard miles away. 

A person died in the blast as he was crossing Himachali Rasoi. The deceased, identified as Aveneesh, owner of Plaza Hotel located just a few metres away from the blast site, was coming back from a temple when the tragedy struck.

Forensic teams were called to the spot to probe the cause of the blast.

BJP spokesperson Karan Nanda demanded an enquiry into the incident and adequate compensation to shopkeepers whose shops were damaged.

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