Factory accident kills three in Durgapur

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Re-rolling mill at Durgapur where the accident took place

Three workers of a private rolling mill in Durgapur died in a tragic factory accident when molten hot iron spilled on them. The incident took place at the Parasnath Re-Rolling Mill in Angadpur industrial complex of Durgapur. Initial report suggests that gross violation of safety norms is the prime cause of the tragic factory accident.

During the morning shift yesterday (December 30), ladle carrying molten hot iron (temperature above 1000 degree Celsius) spilled due to leakage in the ladle carrying the liquid and fell on the three workers who were working in the nearby area. Two of the workers – Jagbharan Das (22) and Amol Bandopadhyay (25) were charred to death instantly. Another Montu Yadav (28) was immediately taken to the Durgapur Sub-divisional Hospital with severe burn injuries. He was latar shifted to a private super-specialty hospital in Bidhannagar of Durgapur, but succumbed after a few hours.

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Re-rolling mill at Durgapur where the accident took place

Jagbharan Das was a resident of the BOGL plant side slum in Durgapur. Amol Bandopadhyay was from Barjora in Bankura, while Montu Yadav hailed from Ajamgarh of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Bubun Das, supervisor of the re-rolling plant said: “The hot metal fell on them as the ladle was punctured. The labourers didn’t have any chance to escape.”

Ladles carrying molten hot iron have refractory brick lining. Negligence on maintaining the proper refractory lining allows the molten hot iron to come in contact with the metal surface of the ladle and melt it.

The terrible factory accident shocked the workers who on condition of anonymity said that they are virtually forced to work in extreme condition without proper safety gears. They are not even provided with proper safety boots, gloves or helmets.

Mr Debabrata Chakraborty, district factory inspector said: “We have initiated a probe to ascertain the reason behind the factory accident and whether there was adequate preventive measure.”

Both CITU and INTTUC have demanded adequate compensation for the families of the dead. INTTUC district president Prabhat Chatterjee has demanded a compensation of INR 5 lakhs for each of the families who died in the mishap and a job for one of the family members. CITU leader and the former Durgapur MLA, Biprendu Chakroborty said that there has been an inadequate safety measure in the unit and added by saying that they have already demanded proper compensation for the families of the dead by writing a letter to the Deputy Labour Commissioner.

CITU leadership has also pointed out to the fact that factory accidents and accidental deaths have increased in the industrial town of Durgapur in recent years, mainly because of inexperience workforce. After Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011, most of the experienced workers who had been working in the factories for more than 10 years lost their jobs as they mostly were members of CITU affiliated trade unions. Thousands of new workers who made their entry in place of the older ones are inexperienced and hardly have any knowledge of working in accident prone areas. In Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) only, accidental death toll has been eight this year. Last moth only (November 18) two contractual workers died in factory accident in DSP.

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