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Patiala ammonia gas leak: Company director held, probe panel constituted

After chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered magisterial probe into the incident, Patiala deputy commissioner Kumar Amit constituted four-member probe committee to carry out detailed investigation into the incident.

punjab Updated: Feb 22, 2018 09:51 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
ammonia gas leak,Patiala ammonia gas leak,Company director held
An ammonia tank had exploded at a food processing unit in Sandharsi village on the Ghanaur-Shambu road, around 50km from Patiala, on Tuesday. (HT File )

A day after three persons were killed and 11 others injured in ammonia leak at a food processing unit in Rajpura sub-division of Patiala district, police on Wednesday arrested one of the directors of the company.

Yashpal Singla, a Patiala resident, has been booked, along with his partner Satish Kumar, under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.

The leakage occurred following a massive explosion in a gas barrel at the Himalaya Fresh Protein around 1am on Tuesday when employees were working in the peas packaging unit, located at Sandharsi village on the Ghanaur-Shambu road, 50km from disttict headquarters.

Deputy superintendent of police Harjinder Singh Gill said Singla will be produced in court on Thursday. “Another main accused, Satish, is still at large, and a hunt has been launched to nab him. We have named 12 unidentified persons in the first information report,” the DSP said.

It was the first day on job for 19-year-old Gurjinder Singh, one of the three deceased workers.

After chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered magisterial probe into the incident, Patiala deputy commissioner Kumar Amit constituted four-member probe committee to carry out detailed investigation into the incident.

Rajpura sub-divisional magistrate, Ghanuar deputy superintendent of police, deputy director factories and Patiala assistant labour commissioner are members of the probe panel.

“Besides carrying out investigation, we will also make some suggestions in our report to avoid such mishaps in future,” Rajpura SDM Sanjeev Kumar said.

There was no mechanism to tackle gas leak and the unit was devoid of fire safety equipment, said an official. “The factory employees were not given safety gear, not even masks,” he said.

The condition of six workers who were admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital continues to be critical.

Medical superintendent Dr BS Brar said of the six injured, two are on ventilator support, while four other are admitted in intensive care unit.

First day on job

It was the first day on job for 19-year-old Gurjinder Singh, one of the three deceased workers. His cousin Charanjit Singh, 22, also died in the incident. Gurjinder’s father, Jaspal Singh, said he had joined the factory on Tuesday itself.

Another deceased, Surinder Singh, 42, joined food processing unit two days ago after leaving job from another factory in Ghanaur.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 09:49 IST