ROURKELA: A contract worker at Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) died of asphyxiation after gas leaked from a blast furnace of the plant on Wednesday evening. Six others suffering from asphyxiation have been admitted to Ispat General Hospital.
The deceased has been identified as Subash Das. The condition of others is stated to be stable.
Reliable sources said the incident took place around 5.45 pm in the underground gas pipeline meant for drainage of gas between blast furnaces 1 and 4. The drainage line is ideally filled with water to hold the gas, but it had dried up due to lack of maintenance.
A leakage in the pipeline exposed workers engaged above the drainage to carbon monoxide gas resulting in asphyxiation.
General Secretary of BMS-affiliated Rourkela Ispat Karkhana Karmachari Sangh (RIKKS) HS Bal said, the workers belong to Essar Group and were rushed to IGH. He attributed the mishap to a lacuna in safety measures and lack of proper maintenance. The RSP management was yet to react to the incident.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, said RSP management should take adequate safety measures to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents.