Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal has said that the Central government will also probe into the gas tanker tragedy at Chala here to find out if the accident was caused by any safety lapse.

Mr. Venugopal visited the accident-hit Chala here on Sunday to console the bereaved families of people who had lost their lives in the tragedy. He also visited the hospitals here where the injured have been admitted. After the visit, the Minister told The Hindu that the Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy assured him that the Ministry would order an investigation to find out whether any safety lapse caused the tanker tragedy. Mr. Reddy had also assured him on September 1 that the Ministry would initiate steps to ensure adequate compensation to the families of the deceased and the injured, Mr. Venugopal said.

The Minister of State for Power also said that he would bring the tragedy to the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He also exuded the hope that the Central government would extend all possible assistance to the victims of the tragedy. He also said that the Centre would extend its support to all the initiatives of the State government to help the victims. The State government and the Indian Oil Corporation had already begun investigations into the cause of the disaster that had so far claimed 19 lives. A special State Cabinet meeting was scheduled to be held on September 3 to decide the package for assisting the victims, he noted.

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