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Vizag refinery blast toll rises to 17

Hyderabad, Aug 29, 2013, (IANS):
 Hospital staff move a man to a hospital for treatment after he was injured in a fire at a Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) refinery at Vizag in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh August 23, 2013. HPCL has shut part of its 166,000 barrel per day (bpd) Vizag refinery after a fire in the cooling tower. Reuters

The toll in last week's blast at the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) refinery in Visakhapatnam rose to 17 with three more injured succumbing to burns Thursday, an official said.

With this, six injured have lost the battle for life at three different private hospitals during the last two days.

Eight people were killed and 34 injured in the fire caused by the huge blast in the cooling tower which was under construction in the refinery's diesel hydro sulphurisation expansion project.

Nineteen injured are still undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the coastal city while eight were airlifted to Mumbai for treatment.

The HPCL authorities Wednesday handed over a cheque of Rs.2 crore to district collector for handing over Rs.20 lakh each to the kin of 10 contract workers. HPCL has announced Rs.1 crore compensation for its executive killed in the mishap.

The compensation for six workers who succumbed during last two days will be handed over later.

Meanwhile, the work is on at brisk pace to clear debris from the mishap site. HPCL officials hope to complete the work in a week. Fire safety expert Ian Thorpe also inspected the blast site Wednesday. He will review the entire safety mechanism and submit a report.


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