Bhubaneswar, May 20: A manager of Rourkela Steel Plant succumbed to his burn injuries sustained last night when molten slag and hot metal (liquid iron) were accidentally poured on him and two colleagues at the public-sector plant, 300 km from here.
Managar S.P. Swain died at the Ispat General Hospital today while assistant manager P.K. Mohanty, who was severely scalded, is battling for life. Converter operator P.K. Hota is stated to be out of danger, police said.
Swain and his two colleagues had reported for duty as usual at the Steel Melting Shop-1 for the C-shift that starts at 10 pm and continues till 6 next morning. Around 12.50 am, the molten mixture of slag and iron splashed out of the melting cauldron when it was being drained into a converter and fell on the three employees, sources at the steel plant said. There has been no damage to the plant equipment.
Steel Authority of India chairman V.S. Jain and Union steel minister Brajakishore Tripathy rushed to the plant soon after the accident.
Jain announced that a three-member committee comprising senior SAIL officials will probe the accident. The committee is expected to submit its report within a week.
Mohanty and Hota are likely to be shifted to Safdarjang hospital in New Delhi for burns treatment.
Agitated employees, under the banner of the Rourkela Shramik Sangh, later ceased work demanding better safety standards. After the accident, the Inspector of Boilers and Factories had visited the plant and allowed RSP authorities to resume operations.
The steel plant, a major producer of a diversified range of sophisticated steel products, made a net profit of Rs 90 crore in the last quarter after being in the red for over seven years.
About 6,600 workers of the public sector National Aluminium Company will cease work tomorrow in protest against renewed moves to privatise the company.
Chairman of the Nalco Workers’ Coordination Committee .M. Patnaik said employees at the three sites of Nalco — Angul, Damanjodi and the corporate office in Bhubaneswar — will take part in the protest, part of tomorrow’s all-India strike by trade unions against disinvestment of PSUs.