Shillong, Oct 1: Five persons were injured following an explosion at a scrap shop in Keating Road, in the city around 1 pm on Sunday.
Smoke billowed out of several shops at the ground floor for several hours as the fire service personnel tried to find a way to control the smoke.
Initially, three fire tenders were deployed to douse the fire and later three more were pressed into service.
The injured, Sam Mohammad, Billal Hussain,
Kamal Uddin,Nur Mohammad Khan and
Neshan Singh are undergoing treatment at Shillong Civil Hospital.
A police official said that it was not caused by the blast of cylinder.
He added that the cylinder inside the scrap shop was intact.
“We suspect the workers tried to open spray containers leading to the incident”, the official said.
“The blast was caused by inflammable liquid from spray cans while the workers were breaking the cans and smoking at the small enclosed place”, East Khasi Hills SP Sylvester Nongtynger said.
Crime scene unit, dog squad and forensic team were on the spot.
Fire started from the godown of the rented scrap shop. The building is owned by H Rapsang.
“Keating Road was closed during the cleaning drive on Sunday but there were atleast four workers inside the scrap shop who were cooking. The owner of the shop spoke to me about it”, said Sushil D, who owns a shop at Keating Road.
Shekhar Nag a resident of Keating Road, said there was a loud explosion around 1 pm and he came out of the building to find out about it.
According to Nath, black smoke lingered for long and spread to several buildings upstairs.
Police admitted that initially the forensic team was unable to enter the shop due to smoke.
“More fire service personnel reached the spot and it took several hours to reduce the smoke and fire”, the police said.