The S.R. Jain Committee probing into the Visakhapatnam steel plant accident will ascertain the causes that led to the blast at the oxygen plant of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, which claimed 19 lives and find out whether human or mechanical error led to it.

After making a detailed examination of the blast site at oxygen pressure reduction station in the compound of the newly-built Steel Melt Shop-II, Mr S. R Jain, Committee head and former chairman of the Steel Authority of India Limited, told presspersons that they would also find out whether there was any lack of coordination. The toll rose to 19 late on Wednesday night, with Khalsi, General Manager, dying in a Mumbai hospital. All the injured succumbed to burns and there are no more survivors in the accident.

MECON Executive Director, Mr Naveen Gupta, and Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT-Delhi Mr Anjan Ray, members of the four-member committee constituted by the Ministry of Steel, were also present.

Mr Jain said, “We examined the blast site in detail. There was an explosion and fire. The employees present in the small room suffered burns. Some rushed to the room from SMS to help those who were operating inside.” He said the committee would find out whether there was any problem with regard to design of the oxygen pipeline and other equipment or with regard to technology.

He said the committee might visit the city again. He said they would also recommend measures for increasing safety precautions in the plant.

(This article was published on June 21, 2012)
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