The good ‘Samaritan’ averting the LPG disaster

The good ‘Samaritan’ averting the LPG disaster

As the clock struck 5 am on February 1st, 2024, the city of Aurangabad was draped in a thick blanket of tranquility. The streets were deserted, the houses were quiet, and the only sounds that could be heard were the soft rustling of leaves in the cold breeze. The sky was still dark, with only a faint hint of light on the horizon. At around 5.20 am, Sudarshan Sangale, EHS head at STL Plants in Aurangabad, received a call from the factory inspector of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) and MARG (Mutual Aid Response Group). They were seeking support and technical expertise from Sudarshan. There was an emergency situation!

Early morning, a tanker carrying LPG met with an accident near the CIDCO overbridge (near Ramgiri Hotel) in the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar area in Aurangabad. It was a very critical scenario that could have led to a catastrophic disaster in the centre of the City. There was an immediate requirement for an intervention from an expert who could help with cryogenic liquid handling to mitigate the emergency.


(actual image from the accident area & newspaper articles )

STL’s safety team headed by EHS Head Sudarshan Sangale & EHS Lead Satish Sangale immediately reached the location with emergency mitigation equipment. A Huge Vessel carrying 18 tons of LPG had met with an accident & the vapour pressure valve of 2.5 inches was completely sheared off, resulting in continuous leakage of LPG. The task force assessed the situation and decided to shut down the electricity supply immediately.

This was a critical situation, the traffic on the road was stalled. Mobile phones & cameras were also restricted at zone zero. The Municipal Corporation Commissioner, along with the Police Commissioner, were present at the location and issued orders to evacuate the area around the accident to create a safe zone. After detailed discussion & site confirmation, the team decided to decant Liquid LPG to another empty tank to reduce the total gas load (Leak quantity). 

At around 12:30 PM, decanting started to another tanker. However, it was slow and only ~25% liquid could be transferred through gravity. Safe transfer with the compressor was also not successful. At 3:30 PM, the team decided to release liquid in the open atmosphere in a controlled environment with water jet spray. Fire hydrant water was continuously poured on the tanker throughout the day (5:30 AM to 5:45 PM).

After 12 relentless hours of work, the situation was brought under control at around 5.45 PM, and traffic resumed normally at 7:00 PM. 

Emergency team worked voluntarily by risking their life to mitigate the emergency. District Administration, Police Commissioner & District Disaster Management Office, specially recognized our Safety Team & MARG members for their technical expertise, advice & ground level of work in Zone Zero.

The District Administration Office & RTO office, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar  (Aurangabad) facilitated our EHS Head Sudarshan Sangale & EHS Lead Satish Sangale in a program hosted by Hon. Collector, AMC Commissioner & Commissioner of Police Aurangabad as “Good Samaritan

Sterlite has been supporting and lending hand in such disasters and during covid to keep our neighbors, surrounding and our city Safe.   

We have earned the trust of government agencies, who recognize our commitment to compliance and adherence to regulatory standards.

Our expertise and resources support public administration initiatives thereby enhancing safety, extending our support to society and contributing to the bigger goal of creating safer communities.

Sterlite with our EHS team is always alert and goes beyond our boundaries to Keep our Plant and our Planet safe!