Probe initiated into Durgapur steel plant accident

Kolkata : The Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) Tuesday claimed there was no gas leakage, but ordered a high-level probe into Sunday’s incident in its Durgapur Steel Plant in which two workers died while working on a blast furnace.

The two workers were Sunday found unconscious and were later declared dead by a hospital. Six other workers were also taken ill but discharged subsequently.

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Police, who registered a case of unnatural deaths, claimed there was a gas leak that led to the death of the two workers.

Confirming Sunday’s incident, an officer of the Durgapur police station claimed “two workers died and six others were taken ill after inhaling toxic gas that leaked out while they were repairing a gas pipeline”.

However, a steel plant spokesperson said: “There was no gas leakage in the vicinity. An inquiry committee headed by the general manager (services) is looking into reasons that caused the incident. The report is likely to come later this week.”

The company is also looking into providing compensation to the kin of the victims.

“We have a provision for providing compensation in such cases. The committee is also looking into the matter,” the spokesperson said.

With no formal complaint being lodged, police have only registered cases of unnatural death.

“While we have registered cases relating to the unnatural death of the two workers, we cannot probe into whether there was any gas leak or not unless we receive a complaint. So far, no complaint has been lodged,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Sunil Kumar Yadav said.