Overcrowding in RINL Control room led to 19 deaths
New Delhi: Nineteen personnel had assembled in a small control room meant for one person for addressing anomalies in oxygen supply system, said the committee which probed the cause of RINL Visakhapatnam plant fire that killed all of them.
A General Manager and an AGM were among the 19 killed in the fire on June 13 during the trial of a new oxygen control unit near the steel melting shop of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL).
Identifying presence of an external particle or "breakage of filter element" of oxygen supply system as a possible cause of fire, the committee said it found no lapse in response to the disaster.
The Committee said after the detection of anomalies during the trials of oxygen supply system decisions on corrective action were required, which was taken by a group of persons who had moved to the Oxygen Pressure Regulating Station (PRS) control room and unfortunately succumbed to the injuries caused by fire.
"Many of those assembled were not associated with operation of Oxygen PRS system. There were 19 persons in a room of 6 metre X 12 metre control room at the time of incident where normally only shift operator is supposed to be present," the four-member Committee, headed by former SAIL chairman S R Jain said.
After the fire and bursting of a section of pipe, the breach in the system caused uncontrolled movement of burning filter along with pipe which caused breaking of two stages of safety barrier in quick succession, it said.
The report said oxygen fires last for a short duration only but in stations all combustible material starts burning vigorously.