Paradip: At least 27 workers
were injured, 11 of them seriously, when the roof of a silo
caved in at an Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited
(IFFCO) plant here on Monday.
"The steel and asbestos structure in the shore-based
IFFCO unit premises collapsed causing injuries to about 27
workers. Eleven of them sustained serious injury," Paradip
additional superintendent of police Bijay Sahu, who supervised
the rescue operation, said.
Fire brigade, ambulance and emergency service
personnel from IFFCO, Paradip Port Trust and Odisha Disaster
Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) were pressed into service for
rescue and debris clearance operations, he said.
Rescue operation was undertaken with temporary
lighting arrangements made in the silo.
"There is a remote chance of anyone being trapped
inside in view of the timing of the incident, which occurred
during tea break," a company official claimed.
Besides, a few workers had gone to nearby temples
after reporting for duty to offer prayers on `Maha Sivaratri`
today, while many were absent as they had gone to their
villages to cast their votes in the last phase of panchayat
elections in the state yesterday, he said.
The critically injured workers were shifted to private
hospitals in Cuttack, while the rest were admitted to nearby
hospitals for treatment, he said.
An IFFCO statement in New Delhi, however, claimed that
only 11 people were injured in the incident and hospitalized.
IFFCO unit`s Executive Director MR Patel said the
silo was properly maintained and must have caved in due to
rapid corrosion in view of its proximity to the sea.
The structure with the capacity to store 45,000 tonnes
of material was used for storing fertilisers.
Locals and workers union leaders blamed the plant
management for the incident.
Company local authorities gave a detailed list of the
27 persons injured in the incident based on the information
submitted by contractors.
Jagatsinghpur district collector NC Jena and
superintendent of police S Debadutta Singh rushed to the spot,
the sources added.