Six killed and 12 injured in major fire at pharma unit

Some of the injured critical; ₹50 lakh ex-gratia announced

April 14, 2022 08:28 pm | Updated 08:28 pm IST

The unit of Porus Laboratories where a major fire accident occurred in Akkireddy Gudem of Eluru district.

The unit of Porus Laboratories where a major fire accident occurred in Akkireddy Gudem of Eluru district. | Photo Credit:

VIJAYAWADA

At least six persons were killed and 12 others were injured in a major fire accident that occurred in Porus Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, a pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing unit, in Akkireddygudem village, Musunuru Mandal of Eluru district, near Vijayawada, during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.

All the deceased and the injured were workers of the company which manufactures active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs), pharmaceutical intermediates and speciality chemicals at the unit.

A majority of the workers, including four of the deceased and seven of the injured present at the site of the accident, are from Bihar.

The deceased were identified as Undrapati Krishna (34) of Reddigudem in NTR district and Boppidi Kiran (35) of Akkireddy Gudem of Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh, Ravi Das (40), Manoj Kumar (25), Suvaas Ravi Das (32) and Abhudas Ravi Das (27) of Nalanda district in Bihar, according to the police.

While five persons were charred to death on the spot, one person succumbed to burn injuries while undergoing treatment at the Government General Hospital (GGH) in Vijayawada, according to the police. 

Some critical

The injured were rushed to the area hospital in Nuzvid and later shifted to GGH, Vijayawada. Later, some of them were shifted to a private hospital in the city for better treatment. According to the hospital authorities, the condition of some of the injured was critical as they sustained more than 40% burns.

According to police and fire personnel who rushed to the spot, the accident occurred at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday when a stainless steel (SS) Reactor exploded reportedly following a gas leakage. 

Regional Fire Officer G. Srinivasulu, who monitored the rescue operations at the spot, said that the Fire personnel prevented the spread of the fire to other units in the company and also rescued the injured and shifted them to the hospital. Locals also rushed to the spot and aided the authorities in the rescue operations.

Gas leak suspected

Eluru district SP Rahul Dev Sharma said that the fire mishap occurred due to leakage of gas from the vessel which caught fire. A case has been registered and investigation is on.

Eluru Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh said that a huge blast occurred in the unit where a chemical was being manufactured. He said a high-level inquiry had been ordered into the incident and the exact cause of the accident was yet to be assessed. He said the management of Porus had been booked by the police.

The management of Porus was booked under Sections 337, 338 and 304-II of the Indian Penal Code for causing deaths due to negligence at the Musunuru police station based on the complaint by one of the injured workers Chandholu Rajeev (38), a native of Guntur district.

Minister visits victims

Minister for Home Taneti Vanitha visited the victims being treated at Andhra Hospitals in the city. She assured the families of the victims that the State government would provide all support for their treatment. She said action would be taken against the management of the company if it was found guilty.

The families of each of the deceased would be given an ex gratia of ₹50 lakh, including ₹25 lakh announced by the State government and ₹25 lakh by the company. Severely injured persons will be given an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each and others will be given ₹2 lakh each.

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