Condition of an injured person undergoing treatment in Mumbai deteriorates

The toll in HPCL Refinery blast increased to 19 with G. Varun Kumar, 20, succumbing to the burns at a private hospital here late on Friday night.

The condition of one among the eight injured, who were airlifted to the National Burns Centre in Mumbai, deteriorated on Saturday following lung infection. He was put on ventilator support, HPCL Executive Director V.V.R. Narasimham said during the daily briefing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, three patients out of 16 admitted at various hospitals in the city were discharged on Saturday following improvement in their condition. The condition of the remaining patients was being monitored continuously by specialists.

While stating that debris was cleared from the accident site, he informed that the HPCL had so far deposited Rs.3.6 crore with the district administration towards payment of compensation to contract workers who died in the August 23 cooling tower blast at the rate of Rs.20 lakh per family.

To a question, he said they had almost finalised the compensation package for the injured, depending on the impact of the burns received by them.

British safety expert Ian Thorpe completed his four-day visit to the refinery after making a thorough evaluation of the safety mechanism and process safety managements followed by the refinery management. He said he would recommend in his report measures to improve the safety culture on par with international standards.

While expressing satisfaction over the safety precautions undertaken by the refinery management, he said the HPCL had internal and external safety audit system conducted by the Oil Industry Safety Directorate once in three years and internal and external specialists as per National Safety Council guidelines.

Asked to comment on August 23 incident, he said the blast could have occurred due to heavy surge of hydrocarbons and ignition due to welding. He said there should be additional manpower for implementing process safety management and introduction of safety rating for contractors and making wearing Nomax clothing mandatory to escape flash fires.

HPCL General Managers — A.S.V. Ramanan (HR) and G.S. Prasada Sarma (Technical) were present.

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