Six dead, several injured in gas tanker blast at factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor
The blast took place when labourers were repairing a methane gas tank
Six people were killed and eight critically injured when a liquid methane tanker exploded at a petrochemical factory in the Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, the police said. One person was reported missing after the explosion.
Bijnor superintendent of police (SP), Umesh Kumar Singh, said the incident took place at Mohit Petrochemicals factory on Nagina road under the Kotwali city jurisdiction when workers were repairing the tank.
The impact of the blast was so intense that bodies of the victims flung several metres away, eyewitnesses said.
Singh said six labourers died on the spot while eight others were rushed to the district hospital where their condition is said to be critical.
Those killed have been identified as Kamalveer, Lokendra, Ravi, Chetram, Vikrant and Bal Govind.
The SP said a first information report (FIR) was registered against the factory owner and management under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and other sections on a complaint by family members of the dead workers.
A separate inquiry is being conducted into the cause of the accident and possible lapses on the part of the factory management, the SP said.
Singh said rescue operation was already underway and a heavy police force has been deployed at the site to avert any trouble as hundreds of people, including locals as well as the labourers’ families, gathered at the spot after the incident.
Locals alleged the accident took place as the labourers were asked to repair a leak in the tank without emptying it first. They demanded action against the factory owners for risking the labourers’ lives.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, condoled the deaths and directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for those injured in the incident.
In November last year, 29 people were killed and over 100 injured after a boiler unit of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) exploded in the state’s Rae Bareli district.
The owner of the petrochemicals factory, Kuldeep Jain, termed the deaths in the tanker blast unfortunate.
Jain said he, along with factory officials, were doing everything possible to help the families of the workers killed or injured in the incident. He said the officials were in touch with the families.
Suresh Panwar, the plant head, said the factory had been closed for the last three months for repair and maintenance. The staff doing the repair work on Wednesday morning were professionals, he said.
“They had carried out similar repair and maintenance works many times in the past. But what happened today is still a matter of investigation,” said Panwar.
Mohit Petrochemicals was incorporated on July 21, 2003. The factory is located in the Firojpur Hafiz village of Mohammadpur Deomal tehsil in Bijnor district.
The plant manufactures extra neutral alcohol (ENA), special denatured spirit and rectified spirit from molasses.
Kuldeep Jain and his family are promoters of the company. The family is also involved in manufacturing rubber tubes and paper. It is also engaged in the field of education. The board comprises two active directors, Kuldeep Jain and Anjali Jain.