A 50-year-old senior official of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) paid with his life while trying to operate a fire extinguisher to douse a blaze at the organisation’s Chandrapura office.
Sectional officer Sanjay Srivastav’s only fault was that he banged the extinguisher — which some claimed was not maintained properly— on the floor to try and get out its contents so that the fire, which was fanning out fast, could be put off without waste of time.
The tragic incident, which left the entire DVC office, about 32km from Bokaro steel city, in shock, underscored the pressing need to train employees of all companies how to operate fire tools during emergencies.
Sources in police said Srivastav, who reached his office around 10am, got alarmed on spotting a fire coming out from the electrical panel at the office hall.
Eager to save his office and more than a dozen employees who were present on the floor, Srivastav rushed for the fire extinguisher hanging on the wall and banged it on the ground to bring out the liquid to douse fire. However, the equipment suddenly exploded and its flying parts hit the sectional officer on his head.
Srivastav, who fell unconscious, was rushed to DVC hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.
Officer in charge of Chandrapura police station Akil Ahmad confirmed the incident. “The man died in an accident while trying to use the fire extinguisher,” he said.
After coming to know about the incident, Dumri MLA Jagganath Mahto rushed to the spot and sat on a dharna, demanding job and other facilities for the deceased’s kin. He withdrew the protest late in the afternoon after the company management promised to meet his demands.
“The fire extinguisher was not in usable condition. Fire apparatus are just ornamental decorations mounted on walls of companies with no one knowing how to operate them. Srivastav paid with his life because of this,” said Mahto.