At least nine persons were killed and 14 injured in a fatal fire in Bhillai Steel Plant (BSP), operated by SAIL on Tuesday, according to a company release. The death toll is likely to increase as many of the injured are suffering from very high degree of burn.  

However, unofficial estimates suggest that 14 are dead and they are regular SAIL employees mostly from energy and fire department. “There was a fire in gas pipe line of Coke Oven Battery Complex No 11 during a scheduled maintenance job,” SAIL said on Tuesday. The accident took place at 10.30 am.

The reason behind the fire is still unknown. However, the sources suspect breaching of safety precautions during wielding job that could have triggered the fire.

The injured are admitted at the Bhillai Steel Plant (BSP) hospital and the fire is under-control.

Located in Durg district of Chhattisgarh, Bhillai produces long variety of steel products, including rails and structurals.

This is the second major disaster in BSP in four years. In 2014, six persons died – including two senior officials – and over 30 were injured, in a gas leak.