Tamil Nadu

Four killed in reactor blast at Cuddalore SIPCOT

Smoke emanating from a unit at a pesticides manufacturing industry following a reactor vessel blast   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a major industrial mishap, four persons, three men and one woman, were killed and 10 others injured in a reactor vessel blast at a pesticides manufacturing industry in Kudikadu at the SIPCOT industrial estate in Cuddalore on Thursday. Sources said the blast took place at one of the reactor vessels in Crimsun Organics at around 7.45 a.m.

The deceased were identified as Rajkumar, 42, Ganapathy, 25, Savitha, 35 and Visesha Raj, 25. The injured have been shifted to the Cuddalore Government General Hospital.

About 15 workers who were working in the unit were trapped inside. On information, fire tenders were pressed into service and rescue work was initiated by Fire and Rescue Services personnel.

Panic gripped the people of surrounding villages who came out of their houses following a deafening sound and thick smoke emanating from the unit.

“The industry manufactured chemicals, which are known to be toxic and have both environmental and health hazards. The incident occurred due to a neglect of safety norms,” said T. Arul Selvam of the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM), an environmental watchdog.

A senior official of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) said that an enquiry had been ordered and they would be able to ascertain the exact cause of the blast after proper investigation.

According to Shweta Narayan, an environmentalist, “Cuddalore SIPCOT is an industrial disaster in waiting. On a daily basis, for the last 15 years villagers have recorded the slow-motion disasters that occurring in the place. The villagers have been pointing this out but unfortunately, this has fallen on deaf ears of the government and the regulatory agencies. There have been gas leaks, effluent discharges that poison the water and today’s accident does not come as a surprise,” she said.

Labour Minister visits injured

Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development C.V. Ganesan on Thursday visited the people injured in the explosion who are being treated at the Cuddalore Government General Hospital.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Ganesan said that four people had died, and 17 others were injured in the industrial accident. The district administration would conduct an enquiry and submit its report to the Chief Minister on the reason behind the accident, he said adding that the government would take steps to announce suitable compensation for the kin of the victims.

All safety measures would be put in place to prevent such accidents in the future, Mr. Ganesan said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 7:02:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/four-killed-in-reactor-blast-at-cuddalore-sipcot/article34547975.ece

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