The Pollution Control Board (PCB) of Odisha has directed Bhushan Steel not to operate the second blast furnace at its Meramandali plant in Dhenkanal district till further notice.

“...the company has further received a direction of closure from the state PCB for not starting the operations of Blast Furnace No. 2 again, trial run of which started recently on November 10, 2013, till further direction...,” Bhushan Steel said in a BSE filing on Thursday.

PCB’s missive comes following an explosion on November 13 that took place at the the slag pit during the trial run of the Blast Furnace No. 2, causing at least one death and injuring 19 others.

On the basis of an inspection report of a four-member team of the Factory and Boiler Directorate, the district administration had earlier sealed the new blast furnace area of the steel plant.

“... company’s existing operational units of the steel plant at Meramandali, Odisha viz, conarc furnace, arc furnace, DRI kilns, blast furnace No. 1, coke oven, slab caster, HR mill, etc. are fully operational as earlier,” Bhushan Steel said.