Serious lapses on part of factory authorities, say police on gas tanker blast in Bijnor

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.
People stand near the site of explosion at a petro-chemical factory where a methane gas boiler tank exploded killing six workers, in Bijnor on September 12.(HT Photo)
People stand near the site of explosion at a petro-chemical factory where a methane gas boiler tank exploded killing six workers, in Bijnor on September 12.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 13, 2018 10:34 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByHT Correspondent

An initial probe indicated that serious lapses by the Bijnor factory owner and management led to the blast in a tank containing methane liquid on Wednesday morning, a police official said.

Superintendent of police (SP) Bijnor Umesh Kumar Singh said two days ago, labourers reported a leakage in the iron tank that was used to store liquid methane.

“The factory management started fixing the fault by welding the tank without emptying it. A fire broke out inside the tank as methane is a highly inflammable material, causing a major blast that claimed labourers’ lives,” he added. He said it was sheer negligence on the part of the factory owner and management to have allowed welding of the tank despite being aware that methane is a highly inflammable.

“It was the sole responsibility of the owner and the management to ensure that the tank was empty before doing the welding work,” he said.

He said there was a lot of resentment among the family members who alleged negligence by the factory owner and management.

Singh said he was conducting a detailed investigation into the entire incident and will also examine the role of other departments, which are supposed to ensure safety and prevention of such incidents in chemical factories. He said he will mention all these facts in his report to be submitted to the district magistrate.

The SP said the district administration had initiated the process to provide financial relief under Kisan Beema Yojana to the affected families as most of those killed were farmers. The factory management had also insured the lives of the workers, he said.

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