Dhenkanal Police on Sunday facilitated shifting of 42 foreign nationals engaged by Bhushan Steel Limited to Bhubaneswar after they allegedly felt insecure there.

Subsequent to report of five foreigners who were said to be missing after the blast in Bhushan steel plant, Dhenkanal police carried out a detail verification of foreign nationals deployed for commissioning of blast furnace.

“We checked documents of 65 foreigners who were present on steel plant premise. There were no discrepancies in the report submitted by Bhushan authorities. Later, five other foreigners joined,” said Dhenkanal Superintendent of Police Manoranjan Mohanty.

Sources said plant experts belonged to China, Russia, Italy and Czech Republic. The 42 persons who were shifted were hailing from Italy.

Mr. Mohanty said there was no report of any foreigners missing after the accident inside the steel complex. More investigation would be done on the claims of Bhushan authorities who submitted that many foreigners had left the plant on November 14, he said.

As of now, the police said, there was no incidence of any foreigner missing. Since there were reports of some foreigners leaving Dhenkanal after the mishap, the departure reports from District Intelligence Bureau and immigration are being verified.

The detail verification of foreign nationals was carried out after State Labour Minister Bijoyshree Routray had claimed about five missing foreign nationals on Saturday. The minister, however, made a U turn on his foreigner missing statement on Sunday.

Meanwhile, blast furnace experts from Rourkela Steel Plant visited the Bhushan steel plant in Dhenkanal district and started probe under which circumstance the blast occurred.

“The blast probably took place after hot metal came in contact with water. There is a standard operation procedure which is to be followed during commissioning of blast furnace. We are finding out if the SOP was followed on November 13,” said C. P. Sharma, a chemical engineer from RSP.

Director of Factories and Boiler P. C. Das, however, categorically said the plant authorities had made no efforts to keep the area dry.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra at a press conference demanded the proprietor of Bhushan Steel Limited should immediately be arrested for criminal act. He alleged that the State government in collusion with the company was trying to hush-up the matter.