Bhilai Steel Plant CEO removed from post, two other officials suspended, day after blast

The blast on Tuesday at the Durg district plant of the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took place in a gas pipeline near coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town at around 10.30 am injuring 14.

Bhilai Steel Plant CEO removed from post, two other officials suspended, day after blast

Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Wednesday announced the removal of Bhilai Steel Plant CEO, M Ravi, from the post and suspension of two other senior officials, a day after at least 13 people were killed after a blast in the Chhattisgarh plant.

CEO M Ravi has been removed with immediate effect while General Manager (safety department) T Pandya Raja and Deputy General Manager (energy department) Naveen Kumar have been suspended, Birender Singh told reporters.

Earlier, Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) G P Singh had said that after receiving the postmortem report of the deceased, a case under the Indian Penal Code Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) will be registered followed by an inquiry into the incident.

The blast on Tuesday at the Durg district plant of the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took place in a gas pipeline near coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town at around 10.30 am injuring 14. 

Singh on Wednesday reached Durg district to take stock of the situation at the plant and promised to offer all possible help to the victims and their families. "Reached Bhilai to take stock of the situation after the coke oven blast yesterday. We are ensuring that we extend all possible help to the families who lost their member yesterday and provide the best treatment to the injured," the Minister said in a Tweet.

In a statement, Ministry of Steel said it has contacted Ministry of Health and four burns specialist doctors from AIIMS Delhi have been rushed to Bhilai for treatment of the injured.

Based on the advice of the AIIMS burns specialists, the line of treatment is being followed and administered.

"Out of the injured, three are serious and in a critical condition. One person is on watch and the others are being given treatment for various stages of burn injuries," the statement said, and added that the Ministry has ordered an internal as well as an external inquiry into the accident and concerned officers are also reaching Bhilai to take stock of the situation.

Minister of State for Steel Vishnudeo Sai, Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar and SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary had reached Bhilai last evening and visited the hospital to enquire about the condition of the injured.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda spoke to the state government and assured them of all support, a source from the ministry said.

The team of doctors was led by Maneesh Singhal, a professor and the head of the Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.

"The team of doctors have reached the hospital there to take stock of patients and assist doctors there in the treatment of patients," the source said. 

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