An explosion occurred at Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, killing nine people and injuring 14 other workers. A rescue team has been rushed to the spot and the injured taken to a local hospital, police said.
The explosion took place around 10:30 am in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section, around 30 km away from the state capital, Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) G P Singh told PTI.
Superintendent of Police of Durg district Sanjeev Shukla stated that at least nine people were killed in the incident.
“At least nine people were burnt to death while 14 others received injuries and most of them were said to be in a serious condition,” Shukla said.
“In an unfortunate incident around 10.30 am, today at SAIL Bhilai Steel Plant, there was fire in a gas pipeline of the Coke Oven Battery Complex No 11 during a scheduled maintenance job,” SAIL said in a statement.
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“Some persons working at the site sustained burn injury... So far, nine persons have lost their lives and 14 are undergoing medical treatment,” it said.
The steel plant, situated at Bhilai in Durg district, around 30 km away from the state capital Raipur, is operated by state-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
“SAIL collective stands by the families of the affected and will ensure that and no stone is left unturned in providing all kinds of support,” the statement said.
“I have got the preliminary information about the blast in a coke oven at Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP),” said Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.
Rescue operations are underway and relief mesaures are being sent, the minister said.
“I have asked for further detailed information from the authorities. Rescue and relief measures are underway,” he said.
Earlier in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dedicated the expanded Bhilai Steel Plant to India with state-of-art-facilities.
On June 12, 2014, a gas leak in Bhilai Steel Plant, Chhattisgarh, killed six people which included two senior officials. Over 50 people were critically affected by the gas leak. A fault in the water pump house had caused the poisonous gas of carbon monoxide to leak and infiltrate the plant. Two deputy general managers were among the dead. The leak had started at around 6:10 pm.
Set up with the help of the USSR in 1995, the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) is India's first and main manufacturer of steel rails. Other than that, it is also a major producer of wide steel plates and other steel products. The plant also markets chemical by-products from its coal chemical plant, and coke ovens.
(With inputs from agencies)