974 workers were present during BSL mishap: Govt

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Dhenkanal:  Nearly a week after the Bhushan blast furnace explosion, the clueless government on Thursday confirmed that as many as 974 workers were present during the furnace commissioning while two lost their lives.
 
“As per our data, two labourers have died while 29 others were injured due to the explosion. We have verified the facts provided by the contract labour agencies and found that all of their workers are safe," Labour Commissioner Shalini Pandit told newsmen at a press meet here on Thursday.
 
“The biometric attendance system of Bhushan Steel and muster roll prepared by the agencies showed that 974 workers were present during the commissioning of blast furnace-2. Of them, 113 were regular employees while 861 others were contractual labourers hired by 35 agencies” Pandit said.
 
As the BSL does not have any central system of registering attendance, the company has been asked to introduce gate passes and biometric system for regular as well as contractual workers.
 
"We will ask them to implement the directive within a certain time frame," the official said.
 
Earlier in the day, a four member team of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) sealed the power plant and boilers which were set up on plant premises.

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