Two labourers were critically injured while seven others suffered burns following a blast in an oil heating unit at a fabric manufacturing unit in Machhiwara on Thursday.
While Suresh Chaudhary, 50, suffered 98% burns, Ajay Pal, 27, suffered 95% burns in the mishap at Shiva Texfab on Machhiwara-Kohara road. Two other workers, Mohd Noor Alam, 26, and Mukesh Kumar, 42, suffered 20% and 35% burns, respectively. The remaining five victims were discharged after first aid.
Reason behind the blast is said to be a technical snag in the sensors of the oil heating unit that did not signal when the unit got overheated and the blast occurred.
The labourers were working in unit-2 of the factory around 10am, when suddenly a loud blast took place, triggering panic in the area. Of the around 20 workers present at the spot, nine were injured and rushed to the ESIC Hospital from where they were referred to the Christian Medical College and Hospital.
The blast destroyed a large part of the unit, with glasses of the unit lying shattered across the floor and oil spilling in different corners, injuring the labourers.
The blast also caused fire in the area, following which two fire tenders - one each from Ludhiana and Samrala - were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
Machhiwara police station house officer (SHO) Manjinder Singh said the blast occurred due to a technical snag in the heating oil unit at the factory, leaving the workers inside the unit injured. "Sensor regulating the temperature stopped working, leading to the blast," he added.
However, sources claimed that the blast occurred as the man deployed to take care of the temperature of the oil unit failed to maintain vigil. Media was not allowed inside the unit for at least one hour after the blast.