Bengaluru lab blast: Victims came early from lunch to celebrate one’s admission to US varsity
The hydrogen cylinder blast at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, lab which left one researcher dead and three others injured could have led to a higher toll had it taken place just 15 minutes later.
“The four people from the team had come back earlier from lunch to celebrate the admission of one of them into the University of Texas to pursue his masters,” IISc security officer MR Chandrashekar said. “If the cylinder had burst just a little later, everyone else who works in the lab, about 40 people, would have been present inside.”
While Manoj K was killed in the blast, Karthik Shenoy, Naresh Kumar and Atulya Uday Kumar were seriously injured.
The Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research, where the accident took place, is the largest of its kind in the world.
“We are working on cutting edge technology here since shockwaves are applied in a variety of industries. We have also had a tie-up with the ONGC since 2014, to see how our technology can help in oil exploration,” said Professor G. Jagadeesh, Department of Aerospace Engineering, at the IISc.
Professor Jagadeesh along with his colleague Professor KPJ Reddy had setup Super Wave Technology Private Limited which is engaged in research in the area of shockwaves and its applications in various fields. All four injured engineers worked for this company, which had earlier developed shockwave induced drug delivery patches for vaccines, insulin and antibiotics. For the ONGC, they are coming up with an alternative for hydraulic fracking.
Earlier on Thursday, forensic science examiners from Karnataka Police examined the scene of the accident. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. “They are still looking into it but the cause is still unknown,” said Chandrashekar. “We are determined to take all necessary measures so such an incident does not occur again. This is the first time in the institute’s history that something like this has happened.”
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, where the three injured are admitted, said that all three are critical but stable.