Staff Reporter

Two workers with burns continue to be serious

Company operating without a valid licence, says police official

Management charged with flouting mandatory fire safety measures

HYDERABAD: A day after the blast in Siris pharmaceutical company, the Cyberabad police sealed the premises and also arrested a senior company official on charges of negligence. The two workers who suffered serious burns in the accident continue to be critical and are undergoing treatment in a private hospital.

The Cyberabad DCP, M. Kantha Rao, said on Monday that the company was operating without a valid licence and related documents were being verified to know the actual status of the drug manufacturing unit.

A chemist-cum-production in-charge, Venkata Rayapa Raju, was held for the incident. “We are taking assistance of experts to find out the causes for the accident,” he said.

No water used

It took almost 10 hours to control the fire that broke out around 5.33 p.m. on Sunday. “We did not use water and foam to avoid any chance of the fire spreading. We waited till the fire subsided before using dry chemical powder,” said Ranga Reddy District Fire Officer V. Nagarjuna Reddy.

While the loss of property is yet to be ascertained, it is learnt that 18 tonnes of alkali metals were stored in the premises. The Fire and Emergency Services Department charged the company management with flouting mandatory fire safety measures.

“A detailed probe into the incident will be conducted and focus will be on violation of rules,” said Mr. Reddy.

Tension near unit

One of the injured workers, Satyanarayana, told the police that the flames suddenly engulfed him and his fellow worker Satti Babu after a gas cylinder exploded near one of the three reactors where chemical distillation is done.

Mild tension prevailed near the factory when activists of different political parties staged separate demonstrations demanding its closure.

The firm was a serious threat to surrounding localities as hazardous chemicals were being used for manufacturing drugs, the political leaders alleged. Police later intervened and took 40 activists into preventive custody.

The city unit of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded a compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the two injured workers. It also found fault with the management for “illegally” operating the unit at L. B. Nagar even though an alternative site was provided at Choutuppal.

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