A hydrogen cylinder blast at a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Wednesday killed an engineer and injured three people working with a start-up, Super Wave Technology Pvt Ltd. The blast occurred around 2.20 pm on the premises of the Hypersonic and Shockwave Research Centre at IISc.
Manoj Kumar, 32, a resident of Mysuru who was working with Super Wave Technology Pvt Ltd, was killed in the explosion. Naresh Kumar, Atulya and S K Kartik, who work with the start-up, were injured in the incident.
The start-up was founded by a retired professor and a serving professor of the institute’s aerospace engineering department — K P J Reddy and G Jagadeesh.
“Due to a cylinder blast in the Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research Centre at IISc Bangalore, one person died and three were injured. All the victims are employees of Super Wave Technology Pvt Ltd and were at the lab for internships,’’ DCP (central) D Devaraj said.
“There was a sudden explosion around 2.20 pm at the Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research Centre while four engineers from a campus start-up Super Wave Technology were working in the lab. One of them died and three others are in hospital. There was no fire involved. It looks like a cylinder blast,’’ IISc chief security office M R Chandrashekhar said.
A forensic team that was called to the scene has said the explosion was caused by the accidental blast of a hydrogen gas cyclinder at the lab. “An initiator is not required for a hydrogen gas and palladium explosion. Moisture and air are enough to trigger an explosion,’’ sources said. The impact of the blast and the shrapnel from the cylinder are likely to be the causes of death, the sources said.
Super Wave Technology Pvt Ltd functions from an incubation centre created under the aegis of the Society for Innovation and Development at IISc — a facility started over 10 years ago to help IISc professors and students take ideas and innovations from their research and spin it into enterprises and industries.
The incubation centre is located on a separate campus next to the IISc main campus and labs at the main campus are used by the start-ups to test products. Super Wave Technology works on innovations from the research work of Prof Reddy and Prof Jagadeesh in the field of shockwaves over the last two decades.
Small-scale hydrogen air detonations are used in the lab to create shockwaves during experiment and research work.