Joint Collector will probe into pharma unit blast, says Ganta Srinivasa Rao

A day after a reactor blast at the bulk drug unit of Hetero Drugs Ltd here, which claimed two lives and injured four persons, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy ordered a magisterial probe into the incident on Sunday.

The government asked the factory management to suspend all operations till further orders. The government also decided to airlift the injured if required.

After a visit to the blast site, Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao told reporters that Joint Collector Praveen Kumar would probe into circumstances that led to the blast.

The factory spread over 480 acres was set up in 2007. Mr. Srinivasa Rao also announced an ex-gratia of Rs.10 lakh on behalf of the company for the nearest kin of the deceased, insurance and other benefits worth Rs.10 lakh and a job to one member of each victim’s family.

Earlier, the Minister’s car was stopped by a group of workers for sometime. He was let off after he promised to take the management to task for the accident.

The Chief Minister, on his way to Gollaprolu in East Godavari district to take part in cash transfer programme, made a brief halt at Nakkapalli junction and told a group of Congressmen that the government would take stringent action against the management of Hetero Drugs Ltd, if they were found to have made any compromise on safety measures.

The Chief Minister also promised to look into pollution caused by the bulk drug units.

Earlier, he called on the injured at CARE Hospital in Visakhapatnam.

An official of AP Pollution Control Board told The Hindu that they were looking into alleged violation of pollution control norms by the Hetero management. Joint Chief Inspector of Factories D. Chandrasekhar Varma also visited the blast site.

Tense situation

A tense situation prevailed at Nakkapalli with several contract workers squatting at the main gate of the Hetero unit demanding action against senior officials responsible for the blast.

RELATED NEWS

2 dead, 4 injured in blast at bulk drugs unitJanuary 6, 2013

More In: Visakhapatnam