‘Human error led to accident at pharma company in Vizag’

Committee submits preliminary report

Published - July 04, 2020 11:09 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Human negligence is said to have caused the accident at the Sainor Life Sciences Private Limited at the Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) at Parawada.

Two employees were killed and four other employees hospitalised when hydrogen sulphide vapours leaked from a hosepipe connected to one of the reactors at the pharmaceutical company on June 29 at around 11.30 p.m.

The four-member committee, comprising RDO K. Penchala Kishore, Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories K.B.S. Prasad, APPCB Environment Engineer P. Prasada Rao, and A. Ramalingeswara Raju of the District Industries Centre, which was constituted by district Collector V. Vinay Chand, submitted its preliminary report on Saturday, in which it was learnt to have stated that human negligence was the main cause for the accident.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Vinay Chand said that based on the preliminary investigation, the accident was largely due to human error.

As per the investigation, the production at the time of the accident was in the third stage, and mother liquor, a waste product, was being pumped into an incinerator from one of the reactors.

The committee reportedly observed that the technician concerned apparently connected the hose from the reactor to the nozzle in the incinerator without attaching the nipple.

Hydrogen sulphide fumes leaked out as a result, and two employees on the shift near the reactor inhaled it and died on the spot. Four other employees, who tried to rescue them, fell sick after inhaling the fumes.

Based on a complaint filed by the VRO, the police had booked cases under IPC Sections 304 (2), 278, 284, 285 and 337. Further investigation is on.

Second incident

This was the second incident at the company ever since it began its operation at the JNPC. In September 2015, two workers were charred to death and five others were injured in a reactor blast.

Cases were booked against the company following the accident, and it had to pay a hefty fine to resume operations.

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