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According to the police, concentration of gasses in the pipeline resulted in the explosion, which injured none but blew the cover of the gang.

The operations of a group of thieves, stealing oil from an underground Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) pipeline in southwest Delhi’s Kakrola, were exposed on Tuesday after a loud explosion was heard in a tunnel dug by the gang.

According to the police, concentration of gasses in the pipeline resulted in the explosion, which injured none but blew the cover of the gang. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka), Shibesh Singh said that a team of police reached the site following information on the blast from locals and discovered the 150 ft long and 2.5 ft wide tunnel.

Reportedly, the thieves had taken a land on rent in the area and with the help of the landlord Balwan Singh the police have managed to nab one accused named Zubair.

An official of the police said, “Zubair told us that he had just finished drilling up a hole in the pipeline with the help of gas cutter. They then covered the opening in the room with a lid and placed some bricks and a sofa on it. On Tuesday evening, they removed the sofa and moved out and soon after the blast took place.”

“The IOCL pipeline is used to transport all kinds of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and aviation fuel. We are trying to find out who was Zubair planning to sell the fuel to. A case under relevant provisions of law has been registered and the landlord has also been booked for not carrying out a tenant verification of Zubair,” said DCP Singh.

Further stating that the leakage of gases from the pipeline got concentrated inside the covered tunnel, an investigator said, “There was no combustion of fuel. Prima facie, the cover and weight on top of it had blocked the escape route of the gases leaking from the pipeline.”

A local businessman, Rajiv Sharma – who lives within half kilometer from the site – said, “We were all shaken. It sounded as if it were some kind of a bomb blast which forced us to come out of our houses. Upon reaching the site, we found that the blast had happened inside a plot which had a small room. The asbestos roof of the room was ripped due to the blast.”

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