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Bhusan Steel in eye of storm

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: Odisha government today sought details from Bhusan Steel about steps it has taken to lessen the number of accidents at its factory in Dhenkanal.

The 3.1 million tonne steel plant has been witnessing frequent mishaps during recent times.

Four persons have died and nine have sustained injuries following a few mishaps that have taken place in the plant during the last one week.

The government has asked Bhusan Steel officials to come out with all the documents on January 21.

State’s labour minister Bijoyshree Routray, who reviewed safety measures in the plant, said: “Compared to other industries, the number of deaths reported at Bhusan Steel plant is much higher. We have asked them to initiate concrete steps to check the mishaps. They have exposed their callousness.”

“The number of accidents in and around the steel plant may touch 100. As many as 55 deaths have been reported at the steel plant since its construction in 2003,” Routray said.

The state government has also decided to ask Bhusan Steel to take professional help from the institutes such as IIT, Kharagpur, and other reputed institutes to check the number of accidents at the plant.

“We cannot ask the plant authorities to close shutters. But we will insist that the company takes up sufficient safety measures to reduce the number of avoidable accidents in the plant,” the minister said.

On January 6, four workers died and three others sustained injuries when a LPG cylinder caught fire and exploded in the plant’s labour colony.

The very next day, another accident took place in the plant that led to amputation of a labourer’s right leg.

On January 8, another accident took place when a beam fell down in the fabrication yard of the blast furnace–II, injuring two workers.

However, the mishaps continued to occur. Again on January 12, three persons including an engineer sustained severe burn injuries in oxygen cylinder explosion.