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10 workers killed in Ranipet tannery

Fire service personnel with a rescued worker.— Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Fire service personnel with a rescued worker.— Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT  

9 of the dead from Paschim Medinipur in West BengalBreach in effluent treatment plant storage tank in RanipetTNPCB orders closure of SIDCO Common Effluent Treatment Plant and 79 units

In the worst tannery disaster in Tamil Nadu, 10 workers were drowned in toxic sludge in the early hours of Saturday at a tannery unit in the SIDCO Industrial Estate in Ranipet.

The flood, caused by a breach in the concrete wall of the sludge storage tank of the adjacent Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), caught the workers, who were asleep, unawares.

Nine of the dead were from Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal, police said. They were identified as Abeeb Khan and his two sons Ali Akbar and Ali Ankar of Vidyapur Saltawani; Shajahan and Kutub Khan (brothers); Akram, Eshyam, Pyar and Habeeb, all from Balrampur. G. Sampath of Melvallam, the watchman at the unit, was also killed.

Two other employees, K. Ravi (50), a supervisor and G. Aminul Ali Khan (21) of Balrampur were rescued by fellow workers.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has ordered the closure of the CETP, run by the Ranipet SIDCO Finished Leather Effluent Treatment Company Limited, as well as 79 member-units linked to it, for not following safety norms.  P.K. Senthil Kumari, Superintendent of Police, Vellore,  told The Hindu  that a case has been registered against the company under Sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 304 (ii) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.

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