Five Odia workers among injured in HPCL explosion

Vishakhapatnam: At least five Odia labourers were injured, one of them critically, among other 43 workers in the explosion that took place at the cooling tower complex of Hindustan Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (HPCL) here on Friday evening. At least six people were killed in the tragic incident, sources said. The toll is likely to be increased as the rescue operation is going on.
 
The critically injured Odia labourer identified as Subash Majhi is undergoing treatment in Vizag with sustaining 80 per cent injuries. The condition of other four is stable, sources said. All injured have been admitted to different hospitals including Seven Hills hospital, Care hospital , Manipal hospital and other corporate medical units in the city.
 
The mishap occurred when 50 to 60 labourers, mostly contract workers, were repairing the cooling tower at the D block of the unit. The exact cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. The relief and rescue operation was affected as fire and smoke engulfed the area soon after the incident. However, National Disaster Rapid Action Force (NDRF) team has reached the spot on Saturday morning and expedited rescue operation in cooperation with the HPCL management.  
 
In May also there was a fire accident at the HPCL complex, but no casualties were reported.
 
However, the worst disaster occurred in September 1997, when a leak and explosion hit the liquid petroleum gas storage, killing 56 people, injuring many and affecting production loss.