4 workers die of exposure to toxic gas in Rourkela Steel Plant

Four contractual employees who were exposed to some toxic gas inside the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), a subsidiary of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), died on Wednesday.

“Four contract workers of Star Constructions working in the Coal Chemicals Department of SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant felt unwell in the morning. All of them were immediately shifted to plant hospital and thereafter to Ispat General Hospital,” RSP said in a statement.

It said, “They were taken to the intensive care unit for intensive medical care. All emergency protocols were immediately activated. However, in spite of all possible efforts the lives of the contract workers could not be saved.”

The deceased contract workers were identified as Ganesh Chandra Paila (55), Rabindra Sahu (59), Abhimanyu Sah (33) and Bramhananda Panda (51).

Expressing deep anguish over the deaths of the four contract workers, Dipak Chattaraj, RSP Chief Executive Officer, said the company would extend every possible support to the bereaved families.

The RSP placed two Deputy General Managers of the Coal Chemicals Department and Energy Management Department under suspension for dereliction in duty. One member each of the deceased would be offered compensate employment in the plant, the company said.

“Enquiries by different departments will be conducted to know the circumstances under which the four workers died. We will try to find out lapses that caused the industrial accident,” Mukesh Kumar Bhamoo, Rourkela Superintendent of Police.

Himansu Sekhar Bal, a worker union leader, alleged, “Accidents occurred in the past due to lapses in safety measures. With regards to Wednesday’s incident, fire service and ambulance vehicles would have to be mandatorily stationed prior to taking up any repair work. However, these vehicles were rushed to spot after occurrence of the accident.”

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said they were deeply saddened by loss of lives in the RSP accident.

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