The toll in the gas pipeline explosion that took place at the Bhilai Steel Plant on Tuesday has risen to 11 after two employees succumbed to the injuries they sustained in the incident, PTI reported on Wednesday. A Bhilai Steel Plant spokesperson said 12 people are still being treated for injuries.
“The two employees [who died on Wednesday] had sustained 80% burns,” the spokesperson said.
The plant is operated by state-run Steel Authority of India Limited and is situated around 30 km from the state capital Raipur.
The blast took place near the coke oven section of the plant during scheduled maintenance work, The Indian Express reported, quoting from a statement released by the administration of the steel plant.
Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh visited the site. “We are ensuring that we extend all possible help to the families of the victims and to provide the best treatment to the injured,” Singh tweeted. He also said the plant’s chief executive officer had been removed from the post and two senior officials had been suspended, PTI reported.
Singh also announced a compensation of Rs 30 lakh each for the families of workers killed in the explosion, PTI reported. The minister said Rs 15 lakh compensations will be provided to families of those who have suffered severe injuries and Rs 2 lakh to those with minor injuries. He also directed Steel Authority of India Limited to provide employment to family members of those who died and free education for their children till they graduate.
Durg Range Inspector General of Police GP Singh said a case related to causing death by negligence will be registered once police receive a post-mortem report. The plant’s chief executive officer, two senior officials have been suspended, Singh said.
On Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Steel Vishnudeo Sai said Steel Authority of India Limited had formed a four-member high-level panel to investigate the incident. Sai said the families of the victims will get adequate compensation.
On June 12, 2014, six workers at the Bhilai Steel Plant died because of an explosion in the blast furnace.