A massive blast ripped through one of the sheds in the explosives division of the Gulf Oil Corporation in Kukatpally on the city outskirts on Thursday night, killing two workers and injuring another.

The blast triggered apprehensions about the safety measures in the factory that manufactures industrial-grade explosives, situated as it is amidst the bustling residential and commercial locality of Kukatpally. The deafening blast could be heard in a radius of about 2 km sending panic waves.

It was a providential escape for more than 30 other workers who had filed out of the DF section for dinner, while their three colleagues who were in the shed when the blast took place around 7.30 p.m. were not that lucky. The two killed were identified as Prasad (26), a resident of L.B. Nagar and Arjun Sekhar (56) of Karwan. The injured worker was identified as Veeresham.

The blast was so huge that the shed housing DF section collapsed under its impact. According to factory sources, in the section where the blast took place, fuses were being wrapped mechanically. The machine had jammed and due to friction sparks emanated leading to the explosion. Anxious employees and their family members gathered at the gate. Quthbullahpur legislator K. Srisailam Goud, who is also the GOC Employees’ Union president, Cyberabad commissioner D. Thirumala Rao, other police officials visited the site.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed shock over blast.

Meanwhile, the CPI State secretary K. Narayana sought payment of an ex gratia of Rs. 25 lakh to the family members of the killed workers.

In a statement issued later in the night, GOC Managing Director Subhash Pramanik said two workers died in the finishing unit of the detonators section. There has been no explosion or fire at the site and the team is currently investigating the reasons for the accident.

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