Experts collect samples of blast material for detailed analysis

The cause of the blast at the dairy plant of Heritage Foods (India) Ltd. at Bayyavaram in Kasimkota mandal near here has baffled experts, who have started probe into the fire that broke out at the refrigeration unit.

The police visited the blast spot on Monday and seized some lubricants, oil recovery cylinder and carbon heat generation cylinder. “We will further seek expert opinion to find out how the blast occurred,” Anakapalle DSP V.S.R. Murthy told The Hindu . He said that it would take more time to come to a conclusion as the case involved technical and scientific analysis.

The police have already booked an accidental death case. Bodies of three contract workers, who were charred to death, were handed over to their relatives. The management has already announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh apart from the amount due under Workmen’s Compensation Act to the deceased’s families, a regular job and support for their children’s education.

Express shock

A batch of experts from Shahi Refrigeration, which brought the state-of-the-art machinery from Germany and installed it at the dairy plant, also expressed their shock over the incident. An official quoting the dealer said such an accident had occurred for the first time.

Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories D. Chandrasekhar Varma, who visited the factory for the second time on Monday, also collected some samples from the blast site. He said they were trying to rule out all probabilities and zero-in on factors which might have led to the explosion.

“We have to examine the computer data, oil quality, oil supplies, welding quality, the operational parameters and lapses if any during the trial run of the equipment,” Mr. Varma said.

The trial commissioning of the refrigeration system began about 10 to 15 days ago. The management of Heritage Foods (India) Ltd. was prompt in admitting that electro-mechanical failure caused the accident – for the first time since inception of the company 21 years ago.

‘First accident’

“This is the first accident at any of the 13 packing stations owned by Heritage,” a senior official said.