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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Bhilai Steel Plant blast: CEO removed, death toll rises to 11, few others still critical

Of the 14 people injured in the blast at the Bhilai Steel Plant on Tuesday, two succumbed to their injuries late night, taking the toll to 11. A PRO of the plant said that a few other injured were also in a critical condition.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2018 15:39 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
An injured person being taken to the hospital in Bhilai following a blast at the steel plant there on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
An injured person being taken to the hospital in Bhilai following a blast at the steel plant there on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. (HT Photo )

The chief executive officer of state-run Steel Authority of India Limited’s Bhilai plant in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district was removed and two other senior officials were suspended on Wednesday, a day after more than 10 employees were killed in a gas pipeline blast.

Union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said while speaking to reporters that M Ravi has been removed and general manager (safety) T Pandya Raja and deputy general manager (energy) Naveen Kumar were suspended.

The death toll in the explosion at the Bhilai Steel Plant went up to 11 on Wednesday after two employees, who were critically injured, succumbed to their injuries at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital in Bhilai, an official said.

Nine people were killed and 14 others were injured in the gas pipeline blast at the plant of the state-owned steel maker located around 30km away from Raipur.

The blast took place around 10:45am on Tuesday following a fire in a gas pipeline in the gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant during a scheduled maintenance job, SAIL said in a statement.

“There was uneven pressure in the gas pipeline for last two days and it was to be attended. The maintenance was to be done by a protocol because it was a highly sensitive line,” SP Dey, a worker at the Coke Oven Battery complex, said.

“On Tuesday, everything was at the spot as per the protocol including fire brigade and ambulance but after opening the bolts of the joint of the pipeline the blast took place,” Dey, who is also the president of Bhilai unit of Centre for Indian Trade Union, said.

Singh and Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh are scheduled to visit the hospital in Bhilai to see the injured admitted there, an official said. They will also take stock of the incident from the senior official of the plant as well as Durg’s district administration.

Inspector general of police (Durg range) GP Singh had said earlier that after receiving the postmortem report of the dead, a case will be registered under the Indian Penal Code’s section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) followed by an inquiry into the incident.

Union minister of state for steel Vishnudeo Sai said on Tuesday that a four-member high-level committee was constituted by SAIL to probe the incident.