As the Andhra Pradesh government ordered an inquiry into Wednesday nights explosion at the plant of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) which left at least 12 people dead,it emerged that senior officers,on learning that pressure was building alarmingly in an oxygen storage unit due to a malfunction,dropped whatever they were doing and rushed there without thinking about their own safety.
General Manager (Projects) D S Kalsi,Deputy GM (Construction) L Srihari,Deputy GM P V Karunakar and Senior Manager Ravi Chand,who had stationed themselves at different locations for a trial run at the newly-commissioned Steel Melting Shop 2,ran to the oxygen unit,seconds before an explosion ripped through the plant.
Officials said Srihari was about to call it a day he had been at work since morning when the alarm was raised. He decided to go and check on the malfunctioning unit. Srihari,who had more than 20 years of work experience at the VSP,died in the explosion. So did Karunakar and Ravi Chand. Two employees of RINLs main contractor M N Dastur and Co,an employee of Blue Star,an engineer of Siemens and two trainees were also killed.
In RINLs 40 year history,never before have so many senior officers died in a mishap.
The condition of Kalsi,who suffered 98 per cent burns,is very critical. He is being rushed to Mumbai for treatment,said an official of the Seven Hills Hospital. Kalsi has been with the RINL for 25 years.
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