Two contract workers were killed and four others were seriously injured on Saturday morning after molten steel accidentally fell on them at the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) Steel Plant in Burnpur in south Bengal.
The workers, according to sources, were working at the Continue Casting Plant (CCP) unit at the time of the incident.
According to an IISCO statement, the accident happened at 4 am. “Prima facie, it appears that it happened due to splashing of molten steel out of a ladle that was being placed on the turret of a Caster in Steel Melting Shop. The crisis response plan was put into action within minutes of the accident. Six affected persons were rushed immediately to the hospital. However, we are deeply pained to learn that two persons have lost their lives in the accident,” it read.
The deceased have been identified as Sahnawaz Sheikh (28) and Ashish Sikka (30). The injured, reported to have suffered 80 per cent burns, were shifted to a hospital in Durgapur.
“The best medical care is being provided to the four other injured persons who are hospitalised”, read the statement issued by IISCO.
IISCO authorities have initiated an enquiry in the case.
“A high-level enquiry committee has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the accident. Management will extend all the support to the affected persons and their families”, an official told The Sunday Express.
People in the area claimed that seven people were injured in the incident but three were discharged after being administered primary medication.
“The molten steel fell from a height of seven feet while the ladle setting was going on. A lot of hot liquid steel splashed on the workers killing two people on spot. We are extremely sad on losing a colleague suddenly like this,” said Sukanto Chattopadhyay, a worker at the plant.
Some workers alleged that the plant lacked safety mechanisms for contractual workers. A similar accident had taken place about three years ago, they claimed. On September 25, 2014 at least 26 workers were severely injured following a blast in a coke oven battery of the plant.
“It’s unfortunate that such an accident took place. We won’t compromise on safety. Inquiry team will find out the actual cause of the accident. Our priority is safety and measures are being taken so that such incident does not recur”, said an IISCO official.