Thursday, March 23, 2023

Tata Steel Plant blast: State labour commissioner constitutes probe panel


Blames lack of safety drill for the mishap

Jamshedpur : Prima facie, lack of safety drill is one of the reasons apparently responsible for the massive explosion of the LD gas holder in the Tata Steel factory on Thursday, said state Labour Commissioner, Pooja Singhal.

The labour commissioner, who straightway visited the explosion site on reaching here on Friday morning, said inadequate safety drill is an apparent reason behind the explosion.

Talking to the press following her meeting with the chief inspector of factories, Awadesh Kumar and company officials, Singhal said.“Precise reasons behind the explosion will be arrived at after thorough probe but preliminary investigation has found that adequate safety drill was not in place which could be one of the reasons behind the explosion.”

The labour commissioner said detailed investigation into the matter, to be carried out by deputy chief inspector of factories A K Mishra, will inquire whether standard operating procedure (SOP) was being followed by the company in the LD 2 plant or not.

“The regular work at the LD 2 plant has been stopped for the time being and it will be resumed after we are satisfied that adequate safety measures have been put in place,” Singhal.

She also said the investigation team will submit the probe report to her in three days time on her visit to the city, on Monday again.Replying to a particular question, Singhal said intrusion of air or probably exposure of ‘some other gas’ with the mixture of gases of the LD gas holder could also be the reason behind auto ignition causing explosion and subsequent fire in the gas feeder.

Singhal has formed a two-member probe panel to investigate into the safety lapses. The probe panel comprising chief factory inspector, Awadesh Kumar Singh and deputy chief inspector of factories, A. K Mishra will submit the findings to the labour commissioner by Monday.

The labour commissioner accompanied by the two-member probe panel visited the Tata Steel Works this morning. The team went to LD 2 gas container holder where the mishap took place.

She instructed Tata Steel officials to undertake proper safety measures. After the visit, the labour commissioner directed Tata Steel officials to stop production at the site of the explosion till the factory inspector expresses satisfaction over safety measures.

“I have instructed the Tata Steel officials not to start production at the LD-II till we are satisfied with the safety drills. There was no negligence on the part of the Tata Steel management,” said the labour commissioner while talking to the reporters at the local Circuit House after the inspection inside Tata Steel works.

The deputy chief of inspector, factories, Mishra, who accompanied Singhal to the plant, informed that LD gas holder contained 60 percent of carbon monoxide, 17 percent of carbon dioxide and 5 percent of nitrogen. It may be recalled that 11 employees and contract workers of Tata Steel sustained serious injuries following an explosion in the LD 2 gas holder inside its Jamshedpur Steel Works on Thursday afternoon. The injured were rushed to Tata Main Hospital.

Injured rushed to Medanta Medicity
: Fifty-one -year-old employee B N Sikdar of Tata Steel who received severe injuries following blast was rushed to New Delhi for better care at Medanta Medicity.

Sikdar was admitted to Critical Care Unit (CCU) after severe head injuries. However, sensing trouble the doctors referred him to Medanta Medicity. On Thursday, accidental explosion in the 80000 cubic meter capacity gas holder caused burn and splinter injury to 11 workers including five company employees.

The accident also caused massive installation loss to the company. Taking lesson from the Tata Steel incident, Pooja Singhal has ordered inspection of the gas holders of all the major steel plants in Jharkhand including SAIL.

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