Visakhapatnam Steel Plant here late on Wednesday night left 10 dead including some senior officials and several injured.An explosion occurred at around 9 p.m in the oxygen plant of the steel melt shop-2 and eight persons died on the spot and two later succumbed to burns in the hospital.
There is no exact count of the workers and officials at the spot but it is roughly estimated at 20. Three deputy general managers and a general manager were among the dead. At present, 10 are being treated in several hospitals in the city and the condition of many of them is said to be very critical, as they suffered 80-90 per cent burns. The toll is likely to rise further.
Till now there is no word from the management on the accident and the union leaders are blaming the accident on negligence of the management. Earlier, it may be recalled, four workers died at the new blast furnace built as a part of the expansion project.
The steel plant’s capacity has been hiked from 3 million tonnes to 6.3 million tonnes and problems are cropping up at the newly-commissioned units built as a part of the expansion project. The union allege that the management has not deployed skilled persons at the units and taken the requisite safety precautions.
The major accident could not have come at a worse time for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, as Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd is planning to go in for an initial public offering. The market conditions are not conducive and the series of accidents in the recent months are making it very difficult for the company.