Nine killed, 14 injured in blast at Bhilai steel plant in Chhattisgarh; SAIL says fire under control

Nine people were killed and 14 others injured Tuesday in a blast at a gas supply pipeline in the Bhilai steel plant of state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in Chhattisgarh's Durg district.

The explosion took place around 10.30 am in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town, around 30 kilometres away from the state capital.

In a statement, SAIL said, "In an unfortunate incident around 10.30 am, today at SAIL Bhilai Steel Plant, there was a fire in a gas pipe line of the Coke Oven Battery Complex No 11 during a scheduled maintenance job."

"Injured persons were immediately rushed to the BSP hospital for medical care and aid. Meanwhile, the fire has been controlled... All resources have been mobilised to provide adequate care to the injured."

Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) GP Singh told PTI that as per preliminary information, over 24 employees were working at the spot when the accident occurred. Police personnel and a rescue team are at the spot.

Chief Minister Raman Singh said on Twitter that he was "deeply grieved" by the incident. He paid tribute to those who lost their lives and wished for speedy recovery of the injured.

Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said he received preliminary information about the blast and asked authorities to provide him with detailed information.

Quoting sources, PTI reported that Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai, Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar and SAIL Chairman Anil Chaudhary have also left for Bhilai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June dedicated the modernised and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant to the nation.

As per SAIL's website, the Bhilai Steel Plant is India's sole producer and supplier of world class rails for the Indian Railways, including 260-metre-long rails, and a major producer of a large variety of wide and heavy steel plates and structural steel.

With an annual production capacity of 3.153 metric tonnes of saleable steel, the plant also specialises in other products such as wire rods and merchant products.

Shares of SAIL fell as much as 4 percent on Tuesday after news of blast was flashed by news channels.

With inputs from agencies and Team 101Reporters

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Updated Date: Oct 09, 2018 16:00:15 IST

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