The Chhattisgarh Police on Friday registered a First Information Report against four officials of the Bhilai steel plant, days after an explosion killed at least 13 people and injured 14 others, PTI reported. No one has been arrested so far.
The police said that the four officials of the energy management department were booked for allegedly overlooking safety standards and not assessing possible hazards. The officials were identified as Executive Director (Works) PK Das, General Manager (Coke Oven) GVS Subramaniam, Deputy General Manager (Energy) Naveen Kumar and Manager (Safety and Fire Department) P Pandya Raja. Kumar and Raja were earlier suspended, while the plant’s Chief Executive Officer M Ravi was removed on Wednesday.
The officials were charged under Sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code based on the preliminary findings of Chhattisgarh’s deputy director of industrial health and safety, said the police officer.
At least 10 injured employees are being treated at the burns unit of the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital Research Centre in Bhilai.
The state-run Steel Authority of India Limited, or SAIL, operates the plant and it is situated in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district, around 30 km from the capital Raipur. The blast took place near the coke oven section of the plant during scheduled maintenance work.
Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh earlier announced a compensation of Rs 30 lakh each for the families of workers killed in the explosion, Rs 15 lakh for the families of those who suffered severe injuries, and Rs 2 lakh to those with minor injuries.
On Thursday, the National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Centre and the chairperson of the plant and sought a detailed report.