Death toll in fire at HPCL Vizag factory climbs to 11

Visakhapatnam: The death toll in Friday's fire accident at the Hindustan Petroleum complex has mounted to 11 with two more private workers succumbing to their burns at a hospital today, a top executive said.

"M Thota Rao (44) and K Shankara Rao (40) died at Old Care Hospital due to burn injuries," BK Namdev, the Director of Refineries, and Executive Director VVR Narasimham, said at a joint press conference here.

Namdev said that full production at the plant would resume within 10 days. As a precautionary measure, HPCL has cut down production to 17,000 to 18,000 tonnes per day as against the regular capacity of 27,000 tonnes.

Death toll in fire at HPCL Vizag factory climbs to 11

File photo of the HPCL factory fire. PTI

Namdev said that with the airlifting today of four more victims to National Burns Centre in Mumbai, the total number of injured who have been shifted out of the port city for treatment had gone up to eight.

A massive blaze had broken out on Friday evening at the sprawling complex when staffers from private companies were at work.

Prima facie, a gas leak in the sea cooling water system is being seen as the cause behind the massive blaze although a probe is on into the incident.

Out of the 11 persons killed in the mishap so far, only Ch Murali, in-charge of the cooling tower, was an employee of HPCL.

The rest of the victims were private workers engaged by contract companies. "One of the 27injured workers undergoing treatment at city hospitals was discharged last evening," Namdev said, adding that "about five patients are likely to be released soon."

Altogether 102 workers, including eight HPCL employees, were present at the site at the time of the accident, he said.

Of the above, 56 workers, including seven HPCL staffers, escaped unhurt when the blaze started, he added.


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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 22:51:26 IST

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