Two killed, as many injured in mishap at Rungta steel plant in Dhenkanal, Odisha

The mishap led to resentment among locals who staged an agitation outside the plant.
Rourkela Steel Plant.
Rourkela Steel Plant.File Photo

DHENKANAL: Two contractual workers were killed and as many injured after a 10-metre-high structure collapsed at the direct reduced iron (DRI) section of Rungta Mines Limited (Dhenkanal Steel Plant) on Monday morning.

The deceased were identified as Vivekananda Sahoo (35) of West Medinipur and Bishnu Majhi (40) of Howrah in West Bengal. The workers who sustained injuries in the mishap are Naba Samanta (25) and Amul Bora (30) of West Bengal. They were initially admitted to a local hospital and then shifted to a private hospital at Cuttack.

As per sources, the mishap occurred at the DRI below kiln number 8 at around 8.15 am. Kiln number 8 has a base at an approximate height of 10 metres. While around 15 to 20 people were working at the site, the base platform suddenly collapsed killing two on the spot and injuring another two. It is alleged the iron structure of the platform was not maintained properly.

The mishap led to resentment among locals who staged an agitation outside the plant. They demanded compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a job for the victim’s kin. They also demanded the implementation of proper safety measures and action against those responsible for the mishap.

Hindol sub-collector Sibanada Swain said the two contractual workers from West Bengal died on the spot and another two were seriously injured. Swain along with Dhenkanal additional SP Suryamani Pradhan, Hindol SDPO Deepak Jena and Odapada tehsildar rushed to the spot to pacify the agitators.

The agitation was called off after five hours when the plant authorities agreed to provide compensation of Rs 20 lakh to each of the deceased’s kin along with a job to their family members.

The additional SP said, after the agitation was called off, the bodies were sent to Dhenkanal for postmortem. Repeated attempts to contact the plant’s authorities and even the public relation officer Ajay Kumar Das proved futile.

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