Explosion at IIT-Bombay injures professor, 2 interns

Institute calls it minor; 3 were working on government project
IIT-Bombay, Powai.(HT FILE)
IIT-Bombay, Powai.(HT FILE)
Published on Mar 30, 2019 12:40 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By

Three people sustained burn injuries on Friday afternoon when an experiment led to a minor explosion at the aerospace department of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B). A part-time professor Tushar Jadhav and two interns, Prashant Singh and Rajat Kumar, received first aid on campus for their injuries and were later admitted to the National Burns Centre in Navi Mumbai.

“The incident took place in the main building of the aerospace department at around 12.30 pm when Tushar Jadhav and two of his interns [who are not IIT-B students] were running an experiment on a lighter-than-air airship. The airship, which was already filled with hydrogen [a combustible gas], was being further pressurised when this incident occurred,” said a spokesperson for IIT-B.

Dr SM Keswani, director of National Burns Centre, said the three were admitted around 4pm.

Jadhav and Singh suffered 16% burns and are in the intensive care unit (ICU). Kumar suffered 4% burns and is in the general ward. “We have applied artificial skin to the injuries and all three of them are stable now. Those who are in ICU have suffered lung injuries too. They will be kept there for four days and will be shifted after that,” said Dr Keswani. Jadhav is a former dual-degree student of IIT-B and a part-time professor in the chemical engineering department. The airship experiment was part of a project by Jadhav’s firm, Manastu Space, incubated at the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT-B. The two interns were working with Jadhav and were on campus as part of a government-sponsored project.

While the institute described it as a “minor incident”, students have raised concerns over safety precautions implemented by the institute. Students who arrived at the scene soon after the explosion said none of the three appeared to be wearing protective gear.

“By the time I reached the spot, I could see fire and smoke and one of the injured students went running to the bathroom to pour water on himself. Meanwhile, someone brought the fire extinguishers to douse the fire,” said one student.

“The incident occurred in the lobby of the main aerospace engineering department building, despite there being separate laboratories for combustible gases. We don’t know who gave them authority to conduct the experiment there, and how no one else questioned it,” said another student.


    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. (ANI)

    'Will ensure justice...': K'taka minister on reports of two sisters stripped

    Karnataka home minister Araga Janendra said Friday he had only just received information about an alleged assault on two women in Anekal, a town in Bengaluru district. The sisters were allegedly stripped and assaulted at their home for failing to pay a debt. Multiple media reports have said the police refused to file a complaint for two days and only did so after videos of the assault were widely shared online.

  • The Maoist, Kamlesh was a member of Malenger Area Committee of Darbha Division of CPI (Maoist). (Representative image)

    Chhattisgarh: Maoist carrying reward of 5 lakh killed in encounter with police

    A Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on The Maoist, Kamlesh's head was gunned down by Chhattisgarh police in an encounter in Bastar's Sukma district on Friday, police said. The Maoist, Kamlesh was a member of Malenger Area Committee of Darbha Division of CPI (Maoist), police said. On Thursday, neighboring Dantewada police gunned down Denga Deva alias Mahangu Deva, who was a member of Katekalyan Area Committee of CPI (Maoist).

  • A cash van that was stuck in a waterlogged stretch in Bathinda after the first monsoon rain on Friday morning. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

    Monsoon covers Punjab’s Malwa belt, brings relief for farmers

    The first monsoon showers that hit the semi-arid region of south Malwa on Thursday night brought respite for cotton farmers from the deadly whitefly but exposed the ill-preparedness of the civic authorities in the urban areas as several areas in Bathinda town were in knee-deep in water. Also read: Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh tricity, so does misery Low-lying areas, such as Power House Road and Sikri Bazaar, were waterlogged.

  • Representational

    Mild earthquake in Karnataka's Kodagu, 3rd in a week in state: Report

    A mild earthquake was felt in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district early Friday morning - the third in the past seven days. News agency PTI said locals were woken up at around 1.15 am by a loud noise and tremors that were felt in Sampaje, Guttigaru, Ubaradka, Goonaka, Elimale, Sullia and nearby areas. Officials told PTI a report from the natural disaster monitoring centre is awaited. On Saturday (June 25), a 2.3 quake was recorded.

  • Bengaluru: Civic workers begin indefinite strike, demand permanent jobs

    Bengaluru: Civic workers begin indefinite strike, demand permanent jobs

    Over 15000 Porakarmikas (civic workers) on Friday began an indefinite strike in Bengaluru, demanding that their jobs be made permanent from the existing contract system and better salary to take care of their families. These civic workers are the backbone of every city corporation in Karnataka and especially Bengaluru which houses over 12million of the total 70million people in the state.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, July 02, 2022