Updated: October 12, 2018 12:25:05 pm
<img class=”wp-image-4985561 size-full” src=”https://images.indianexpress.com/2017/12/steel-l.jpg” alt=”India’s finished steel export slides over 30% in January” width=”759″ height=”422″ /> The explosion took place around 11 am in the gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant. (Representational)
At least nine people have been killed and several injured following an explosion at Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district Tuesday. The injured, most of whom are reportedly critical, have been rushed to a local hospital, senior police officials said. The plant, operated by state-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), is around 30 km from state capital Raipur.
The explosion took place around 11 am in the gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant.
In a statement, the Bhilai Steel Plant said that nine people had lost their lives while 14 others are undergoing medical treatment. “At least nine have already died. Flames are being controlled now and people pulled out. Those in the hospital also serious,” the source said.
An earlier PTI report quoted Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) G P Singh as saying: “At least six people were burnt to death while 14 others received injuries and most of them were said to be in a serious condition.”
Police say some more may be trapped and search is underway, but the smoke and gas after such an explosion make the situation difficult. Are hopeful that there are not too many more missing, but can’t say categorically at the moment. Of those injured, some very serious <a href=”https://twitter.com/IndianExpress?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@IndianExpress</a>
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”>— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) <a href=”https://twitter.com/dipankarghose31/status/1049565795712266240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 9, 2018</a></blockquote>
Over 24 employees were present in the steel plant at the time of the explosion, said Singh.
Sources in the plant administration have stated that the Energy Management Department was carrying out some maintenance work when the explosion took place. According to the police, a search is underway as more people are feared to be trapped. They further said smoke from the blast were making rescue operations difficult.
Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said, “I have got the preliminary information about the blast in a coke oven at Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP).” “I have asked for further detailed information from the authorities. Rescue and relief measures are underway,” he said. According to sources, Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai, Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar and SAIL Chairman Anil Chaudhary have also left for Bhilai.
The modernised and an expanded plant was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June this year. As per SAIL’s website, the Bhilai Steel Plant is India’s sole producer and supplier of world class rails for the Indian Railways, including 260 metre long rails, and a major producer of a large variety of wide and heavy steel plates and structural steel.
(With PTI inputs)
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