Two senior officials of SAIL’s Bhillai steel plant have been suspended and the CEO M Ravi has been removed due to fire at their unit, as the death toll in the accident climbed to 12. The steel ministry has decided to constitute a high level probe by external experts into the devastating fire accident at Bhillai steel plant.
The fire, which began at a gas pipeline in the Coke Oven Battery Complex No. 11 during a scheduled regular maintenance, also injured 11 people who are being treated for grievous burns at a local hospital. The job was being handled by the energy management department of the plant.
The union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh who is in Bhilai announced that the ministry of steel will constitute a high level enquiry into the accident by external experts which will submit a report on the causes of the incident within the week. SAIL chairman has also ordered a special probe into the fire by a four-member high-level committee. The minister also announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 30 lakh to next of kin of each of the deceased and another Rs 15 lakh for those seriously injured and another Rs 2 lakh for others injured in the fire. The PIB statement said the families of the deceased will also get statutory compensation ranging from Rs 33 to 90 lakh in addition to the compensation announced by the minister. Steel minister has also directed SAIL to offer employment to the next of kin of the accident victims.
Bhillai steel plant is widely rated as one of SAIL’s best facilities but this was second such incident in the last four years at Bhillai steel plant.