A day after a chlorine gas leak in the Mumbai Port Trust affecting more than a hundred people, 25 people fell ill in the Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) in West Bengal after inhaling carbon monoxide gas.
Two persons were admitted to the critical care unit of the DSP main hospital and the plant management claimed all the affected people are out of danger.
Eight of those injured are permanent employees of the plant, while the rest are contractor's men. Fifteen of the injured have been hospitalised.
Around 11 am on Thursday, some of the workers working near a blast furnace complained of dizziness and breathing trouble. As the complaints started flowing in, the management shut down the unit and the safety department initiated an investigation.
The security personnel of the hospital did not allow the media to enter the emergency ward and even tried to prevent mediapersons from speaking to the relatives of the victims.
"We demand immediate enquiry into this accident and take stern action if anyone is found responsible. Accidents involving minor gas leakage are happening repeatedly and workers are feeling insecure," said Indian National Trade Union Congress leader Neer Madhab.
Although the DSP authorities did not furnish any information on the accident, there were unconfirmed reports that the leak started on Wednesday night and that the authorities tended to ignore it even after being alerted.
But the DSP authorities claimed in a press release: "Preliminary investigations revealed that there was some leakage … This was promptly detected and rectified immediately. Plant operations are continuing as normal."
A committee was constituted to conduct an inquiry and submit a report in three days.