VIJAYAWADA: It was like any other Wednesday for K Joseph until he received a call from his brother Shyam around 11 pm. “I am going to die,” Shyam said. “That was all I could hear,” Joseph told TNIE, a day after an explosion tore through Production Unit-D of Porus Laboratories at Akkireddygudem in Eluru.
“When I called back, there was no response,” he added. Joseph was then unaware of the incident at the firm. He rushed to the factory, only to find it gutted by the blaze. He was informed that the injured had been taken to the New Government General Hospital in Vijayawada. Panicked, he reached the hospital where doctors told him that his brother was in a critical condition. Shyam is a native of Tummagudem.
Expressing dismay over the lack of response from the management, Joseph demanded the company to own up responsibility and foot his brother’s medical bills. It has been learnt that Porus Laboratories would pay bills and salaries to the injured till the time they are in the hospital. Family members of the workers who were killed and others who sustained injuries in the blast demanded action against the management of the factory for their negligence. They wanted the factory to be shut down permanently.
B Kiran, a 32-year-old from Akkireddygudem, worked as a daily wager at the unit. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to the the New Government General Hospital in Vijayawada. ‘’My son went for the night shift as usual on Wednesday. Before going, he dropped me off near a church at 10 pm. After one-and-a-half hours, we received a message about the incident. Immediately, we rushed to the spot and found the factory burnt down.” Kiran’s mother, Rangamma recalled.
He was seriously injured and was initially shifted to the Government Hospital at Nuzvid, she said and added, “Doctors referred him to the GGH in Vijayawada. We immediately left with him, but Kiran died near Agiripalli.”Appealing the government to initiate stern action against the factory for negligence, Rangamma demanded the factory be shut down for good as it has also been causing environmental problems in and around the village.