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Punjab: Iron furnace blast in Mandi Gobindgarh kills 1, leaves 12 others injured, four of them critically

While there were around 16-20 labourers on the spot, some were discharged after first aid from Civil Hospital, Khanna.

By: Express News Service | Ludhiana |
Updated: August 14, 2021 1:03:41 am
All of the injured in Iro furnace blast are admitted at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

One person was killed and 12 others were injured after a blast tore through an iron furnace in Mandi Gobindgarh town of Fatehgarh Sahib district on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, police said.

According to the police, a total of 13 people — all labourers — sustained burns after the blast, with one of them succumbing while undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana. The condition of four others was stated to be very critical and were being treated at DMCH, Ludhiana.

Punjab Steel Forging & Agro Industries Limited. (Express Photo)

As per investigators, the incident happened in the iron furnace of Punjab Steel Forging & Agro Industries Limited, located on GT Road (towards Khanna). An FIR was registered against the factory owners based on the statement of one of the injured workers, who in his statement told police that all the labourers inside the furnace were working without any safety gear when suddenly there was a sudden boil in the iron furnace leading to a blast. The blast led to molten iron being spewed on the bodies of the workers causing severe burns.

“There was a sudden boil in the iron furnace, following which the molten iron spilled out and the workers sustained burns. They were working the night shift. The incident happened post-midnight and factory owners informed the police only around 3 am,” said Amneet Kondal, SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib.

While there were around 16-20 labourers on the spot, some were discharged after first aid from the local Civil Hospital. The 13 who sustained severe burns were referred to DMCH, Ludhiana.

A DMCH official said that of the 13 persons who were referred to their hospital, one patient, Arun, has died. Seven others are admitted in the ICU of the Burns Unit and five others are in another ward. At least four had more than 50 per cent burns and were in a critical state.

The FIR has been registered on the statement of one of the injured workers, Ashok Kumar, a native of Bihar. Kumar in his statement said that he has been working as a crane operator in the unit for the last four years. He added that he and his colleagues were working in an iron furnace when around midnight there was a sudden blast and hot, molten iron spewed out of the furnace and injured many workers. He, in his statement, added that all the workers were working without any safety gear — such as shoes, helmets, gloves, jackets, and that the factory owners never provided the workers with any such gear. He added that after the blast, one of the owners, Sandeep Kumar reached the spot and arranged vehicles to rush the injured to a hospital.

The FIR has been registered against Sandeep Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Sahil Bansal and Vijaynet Bansal — under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), 336 (negligent act endangering human life), 337 (causing hurt to any person doing negligent act), 338 (causing grievous hurt to any person doing negligent act), and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of IPC at Mandi Gobindgarh police station.

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