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West Bengal: 3 steel plant workers killed after molten lava falls on them

Three workers of IISCO steel plant in Burnpur in West Bengal died after molten metal fell on them early on Saturday morning.

Sanwar Sheikh, 29, and Asish Sikka, 30, were killed on the spot when the molten metal fell on them from a height of about 60 feet.

Of the four critically injured, Shankar Nag, 30, succumbed to injuries in a private hospital in Durgapur on Saturday night. He had been brought to the hospital with almost 90% burns.

Three more are undergoing treatment, of which two are still in critical condition. Three other workers who suffered minor injuries were discharged after preliminary treatment.

The incident occurred at around 4 am while the labourers were working at the steel melting shop of the plant, police said. The crucible in which the molten metal was being transported in the shop floor tilted and fell on the victims who were working below.

“We have instituted a high level inquiry to find out how the disaster happened and how such accidents could be avoided in future. We will not compromise on safety issues at all,” a spokesperson of SAIL that owns the steel plant told the media.

The management would extend all support to the affected persons and their families, the company said.

Iron melts at around 1,600 degrees Celsius and there was no chance of saving Sheikh and Sikka.

“About 25-30 tonne metal fell from a height exceeding 60 feet,” Sukanta Chatterjee, a worker of the plant told the media.

“We have told the management to find out how this horrible incident could take place. If hot metal is transported, below which people are working, accidents could take place at any time,” said Harjit Singh, the leader of the workers union affiliated to INTUC.

Workers staged a brief demonstration on Saturday morning demanding adequate safety measures in the plant.

Established in 1918, it is one of the earliest integrated steel plants of the country. It was taken over by SAIL on February 16, 2006.

(With inputs from PTI)

Source: HindustanTimes