ONGC offers Rs10 lakhs to fireball victim

Vol 23, PW 5 (16 Jan 20) News in Brief

Ranchhodbhai Rabari (Desai), a villager in Mehsana who suffered serious injuries in an ONGC fire, has died at the Apollo Hospital in Ahmedabad on January 11 in the morning.

Rabari, 55, suffered 80% burns after he was engulfed by a fireball following a blast in a gas pipeline connected to well Jotana#148 from the Balol GGS (Gas Gathering Station) late in the evening on October 30 (2019). Rabari was trying to show the location of a gas leak on his land to ONGC officials when the fire started, possibly because of a stray spark from a Bolero jeep after the driver turned on the ignition.

Two others, including the Bolero jeep driver Dashrathbhai Turi, escaped with minor injuries. At the hospital, Rabari's relatives refused to accept the body unless ONGC offered compensation.

The family finally accepted the body only after senior ONGC officers including Sanjiv Bhatia, chief general manager (HR/ER), assured them of a payment of Rs10 lakhs ($14,100) and the promise of a job for Rabari's 22-year-old son. ONGC has also paid all expenses for Rabari's six-week hospital stay.

HK Patel, chairman of ONGC Employees Mazdoor Sabha was also present at the hospital.