Five persons were taken ill after inhaling carbon monoxide in the Bhilai Steel Plant on Friday, a day after six persons were killed as the gas leaked in the plant. All five are in a stable condition.

“Three technicians of the central heavy maintenance department who had gone for repairs on the site of Thursday’s accident had to be admitted to hospital on Friday because the site was not cleared of carbon monoxide,” S.P. Dey, president of the BSP workers’ union, said.

A worker from a neighbouring sub-section and a union leader, who went to the site for inspection, were the others affected, Mr. Dey said.

A Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) statement said that of the 30 admitted to hospital on Thursday, 21 had been discharged.

“The nine persons remaining in hospital are stable and out of danger,” said R.K. Singhal of SAIL. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the accident with Chief Minister Raman Singh. He also expressed grief over the death of six people, and stressed the need for providing good treatment to the injured people,” said a Chhattisgarh Public Relations Department statement. Union Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and the Chhattisgarh government ordered an inquiry.

Workers and union leaders alleged that the plant management had been neglecting safety. “The plant is over 50 years old, and no timely repairs or renovation has been carried out,” Mr. Dey said. He alleged that the management did not take basic precautions such as providing oxygen masks to the workers.

Kaladas Deharia, union leader, said the pipe from which carbon monoxide leaked had been in a bad condition.

More In: National | News