Condition of four patients — three here and one in Mumbai — is stated to be critical

The committees set up by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and HPCL headquarters will submit their reports on the circumstances that led to the blast in the cooling tower of Visakh Refinery on August 23, which claimed 24 lives.

During media briefing, senior HPCL officials said on Thursday that the committees were expected to submit their reports shortly.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate Executive Director Hirak Dutta, who is heading the panel constituted by the Ministry, has already inspected the blast site. HPCL General Managers A.S.V. Ramanan (HR), G.S. Prasada Sarma (Technical), and Lakshman Venugopal (Projects) said they were also providing whatever information sought by the Directorate of Factories. Factories directorate officials are also trying to find out whether safety lapse triggered the blast. At present, nine patients were undergoing treatment in city hospitals and seven at National Burns Centre in Mumbai.

HPCL Executive Director and in-charge of Visakh Refinery led a team of officials from here to Mumbai to meet the patients and their attendants. The condition of four patients — three here and one in Mumbai — was stated to be critical. All the three patients in the city were on ventilator. The condition of one of the patients improved slightly, the officials said.