Mumbai: 'Gas leak' reports spark panic, BMC sends fire engines
People living in various parts of Mumbai complained of a foul smell late on Thursday night, prompting the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to get to work. Several residents spoke about a "foul", "pungent" or "gas-like" smell on social media. Subsequently, the civic body dispatched nine fire engines across the city to trace the origin. According to BMC, the smell has "substantially reduced".
The smell was reported from western and eastern suburbs of Maharashtra's capital. Those living in areas like Chembur, Mankhurd, Govandi, Chandivali, Powai, Ghatkopar, and Andheri, said that the pungent odor emerged after 10 pm. The smell died down after some 30 to 40 minutes. BMC revealed that it received a total of 29 complaints. The civic body asked people to dial 1916 for assistance.
A total of 29 complaints were received by the #1916 control room regarding an unknown smell, which has considerably reduced now. Apart from the 9 fire engines, 4 emergency vans of MGL have been mobilised. If you still notice the odour please dial 1916 #gasleak #MCGMUpdates— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) September 19, 2019
Many believed the smell emanated due to leak at either Rashtriya Chemical Fertiliser (RCF) plant or from the pipeline of Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL). However, both companies refuted the rumors. Shrikant Desai, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Trombay division, denied any leak at RCF. Similarly, MGL also put out a statement saying no leakage has been reported from any of its pipes.
"Our emergency teams have reached the sites from where the complaints have been received. So far, we have not come across any breach in our pipeline system which could result in leakage of gas," MGL said in a late night statement.
At a time when Mumbaikars were struggling, the response from MGL didn't do much to help. A resident told ANI he immediately contacted MGL to report the smell, but the landline numbers were unreachable. "It was shocking for us how the firm deals with its customers at a time of emergency. It is becoming harder for us to breathe," he added.
However, the person added that BMC was helpful and assured that all measures were being taken to prevent any emergency-like situation. Meanwhile, police said no one has been injured.