Durgapur News Desk, 7 May 2017: In a major devastating accident at the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) Steel Plant in Burnpur on the wee hours of 6 May 2017, three contractual workers died after molten steel fell on them.
Sanwar Sheikh, 29, and Asish Sikka, 30, were killed on the spot when the molten metal fell on them from a height of about 60 feet.
Of the four critically injured, Shankar Nag, 30, succumbed to injuries in a private hospital in Durgapur on Saturday night. He had been brought to the hospital with almost 90% burns. Three more are undergoing treatment at the Mission Hospital in Durgapur; among them two are still in critical condition.
Saturday’s accident occurred exactly two years after a similar incident at Durgapur Steel Plant had killed a worker and critically injured two.
The horrific accident occurred at around 3.55 am, during the ‘C shift’ at IISCO Steel Plant, a unit of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited). A ladle carrying nearly 150 tonnes of molten steel from the basic oxygen furnace by an overhead crane got tilted in an attempt to it on the turret of caster No.1 to make steel billets. Around 25 tonnes of molten steel at a temperature in excess of 1600°C, splashed from a height of above 60 feet. Workers working in the ground area hardly had an escape route.
“We have instituted a high level inquiry to find out how the disaster happened and how such accidents could be avoided in future. We will not compromise on safety issues at all,” a spokesperson of SAIL that owns the steel plant told the media.
The management would extend all support to the affected persons and their families, the company said.
Established in 1918, it is one of the earliest integrated steel plants of the country. It was taken over by SAIL on February 16, 2006.
The steel melting shop is part of the new plant at IISCO, which cost approximately Rs 17,000 crore. IISCO’s capacity has been ramped up from 0.34 million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes.
IISCO modernisation is actually part of SAIL’s overall modernisation and expansion programme to take the capacity of the public sector from 12.4 million tonnes to 21 million tonnes of finished steel capacity at a cost of Rs 70,000 crore.
The IISCO modernisation was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. The foundation stone of the modernisation of the plant was, however, laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in 2006.