New Delhi: At least 16 workers, including some officers, were burnt alive following a huge explosion in the recently commissioned oxygen plant in the steel melting shop III unit of Viskhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), India, media reported on Wednesday night.
According to reports the explosion occurred when the officials were conducting a trial run of the oxygen plant resulting in the killing of 16 people and injuring 20 others.
“At the time of the accident, 31 workers, including DGM-level rank officers, were in the shift,” sources said adding that the death toll is likely to go up as nobody knows as to how many workers stayed close to the oxygen plant at the time of the mishap.
After the massive blast, a huge fire raged across the plant. All the workers and officials present in the oxygen plant were charred to death. The oxygen plant was completely gutted as huge flames swept through the unit. The injured suffered 80-90% burns. The Seven Hills Hospital was filled with the cries of the injured workers screaming in agony.
Gajuwaka MLA Venkataramaiah confirmed to media that 16 workers had died in the mishap. The steel plant management were not available for comment even a couple of hours after the accident. Trade union leaders allege that maintenance works in the plant have been neglected for well over a year.
The new SMS III wing, which was constructed as part of the expansion works of the plant, was commissioned recently. The trade unions and the workers were searching for the bodies at the accident spot while fire fighters were trying to control the fire.