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Updated: January 3, 2010 19:48 IST

No external hand in BARC fire, says DAE

PTI
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This file photo shows the gate leading to the BARC complex. Two research students were burnt to death in a fire that broke out in a building housing a chemical laboratory inside the complex on December 29, 2009.
PTI This file photo shows the gate leading to the BARC complex. Two research students were burnt to death in a fire that broke out in a building housing a chemical laboratory inside the complex on December 29, 2009.

The Department of Atomic Energy on Sunday ruled out the possibility of an external hand in the recent fire at a lab in the premier Bhabha Atomic Research Centre that killed two young scientists.

“Now people are saying this external hand thing but there is no scientific answer to it. We do not see any thing,” Srikumar Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy told PTI on the sidelines of the 97th Indian Science Congress.

Mr. Banerjee said the place where fire broke out was a basic research facility on anti-oxidants and did not have any chemicals that could pose a fire hazard.

“It would have been obvious and easy to point out if you have a gas cylinder or a hydrogen cylinder. But it was not there. The lab did not have anything that could be said to be a fire hazard,” he said.

The investigators are now working out a list of different chemicals that were being brought in the lab which was renovated and handed over to the scientists the same day the accident happened, said Mr. Banerjee, who is also the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

“We are also looking at the possibility of vapour accumulation. The problem is that everything was charred and there is not much trace of anything left,” he said.

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