Six workers died and two others were taken ill in a gas leakage at Gerdau steel plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district on Thursday, 12 July evening, police said.
The gas leak occurred while testing was being done after a two-week long maintenance work in the unit, according to the District superintendent of police G Ashok Kumar.
AP Deputy CM Announces Ex-gratia Of Rs 5 Lakhs
Hundreds of workers of Left parties and YSR Congress Party staged demonstrations near the steel plant demanding compensation for the families of the victims, reports The Indian Express .
According to The Indian Express, Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N Chinna Rajappa expressed his condolences over the deaths and announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs each to the families of victims.
“We will ensure that the families get full support from the government. Right now the focus is on rescue and relief,” Rajappa said.
Police has registered a case of negligence against the management of Gerdau Steel India Ltd, DIG Prabhakar Rao said.
Gas Leak Occurred Due To Testing: Deputy Superintendent of Police
District superintendent of police G Ashok Kumar told PTI over phone that the gas leak occurred while testing was being done after a two-week long maintenance work in the unit, reports Hindustan Times.
“Carbon monoxide is the main gas used for reheating process and its leak caused the mishap,” the official said.
Gerdau Steel Plant Suspends Operations
Gerdau Steel, one of the largest steel companies worldwide, said it had suspended operations at the unit and will resume only after an extensive safety inspection.
“The company is assisting the family of the victims and is working to determine the cause of the accident. The company is also extending all cooperation to local authorities,” it added.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has more than 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries, according to the information on its website.
The plant in Andhra was Gerdau’s first in Asia and it has the capacity to produce 300,000 tons of special steel per year.
Eight Workers Collapsed After Inhaling Poisonous Gas, Two Died on Spot
The gas leakage occurred in the furnace wing of the plant. Eight of the workers collapsed after inhaling the gas while others managed to escape in time.
Eye witnesses said two workers died on the spot. Six others were shifted to a nearby hospital, where four workers succumbed.
The deceased have been identified as B Ranganath, 21, K Manoj, 24, S A Wasim, 39, U Gangadhar, 37, Guravaiah, 40, and K Siva Maddileti alias Lingaiah, 26.
Six dead, 5 injured after a poisonous gas leak in Gerdau Steel India Limited in Tadipatri of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. Cause of the leak is not known yet, reported ANI.
(More details awaited)