Times of India reported that the three-member high-level committee which inquired into the blast at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) (http://www.vizagsteel.com) that killed 19 employees, gave a clean chit to the VSP management, thereby pulling down the curtains on the negligence of VSP on safety measures inside the mega plant.
According to the report, elaborating on the possible causes that might have led to the blast in the plant, the committee noted that inadequate flow of oxygen resulting in friction in the pipes could be one of the causes. Speaking on the measures required to avoid any such incident, the committee recommended many a precautionary measure, including an awareness programme, along with a thorough study of the feasibility and durability of the pipes. Moreover, they also questioned the design of the unit and pointed out that a bigger unit with greater buffer space could help in avoiding such mishaps.
The blast took place at new oxygen pressure reducing station (PRS) near SMS -2 (steel melting shop) in the plant on June 13 night, in which 19 employees of steel plant, SMS Seimag India, Blue Star company and Dastur and Sons company, the consultants of the expansion works, were killed. The independent inquiry into the incident ordered by the Ministry of Steel appointed a three-man high level committee with former chairman of SAIL SR Jain as the chairman. Mecon CMD KK Mehrotra, Delhi IIT department of mechanical engineering Prof. Anjan Ray are the other members. Former executive director of Mecon Nivineder gupta was co-opted as a member. The committee after visiting the accident site and interacting with the employees of steel plant and others involved in the works had submitted its report to the Steel Ministry.
In the report, the chairman of the committee SK Jain felt that the presence of a large number of people, including those not associated with the operation of the oxygen PRS system was chiefly responsible for the tragic toll. He noted that usually only a shift operator would have been present in the unit. In view of the circumstances that led to the accident, there were no lapses in response to the disaster. He noted that another possible reason for the ignition could have been particle impingement of steel surface in filter area either due to some trapped particles or breakage of the filter element.
(Sourced from Times of India)