Lab blast: Family blames IISc for negligence

Lab blast: Family blames IISc for negligence

Relatives of the scientist who was killed in a powerful explosion that rocked the hypersonic laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru on Wednesday December 5, 2018. Photo by Janardhan B K

The family members of Manoj, who rushed to the spot soon after hearing about the blast in an IISc lab in Bengaluru, blamed the negligence of the management towards proper safety measures at the lab. At 3:00 pm, Rakesh, Anusha's cousin brother, first rushed to MS Ramaiah hospital, and then to the IISc.

"The elite institutions of the world are totally negligent towards safety. Forget CCTV and a fire extinguisher, there is not even a single first aid kit inside the lab. The security guards and the officials inside the IISc campus were clueless about the incident. We took 20 minutes to locate the place of the mishap," Rakesh told DH.

However, Chandrashekar, chief of IISc security, denied the allegation and said, "We have taken all the precautions in all the buildings. There was nothing related to a fire. It was a blast. I rushed to the spot within five minutes. All the buildings are equipped with fire extinguishers. There is no CCTV in the particular lab. The security audit is taken often at the IISc. Our director will conduct an internal enquiry and install more security arrangements."

20 students were working at the other end of the lab

"20 of us were working at the other end of the lab. Suddenly there was an explosion which broke the glass in the building. We rushed to the other end 90 meters away. We saw two people, who were severely injured walking towards the door. We rushed them to the hospital," Arun, a research scholar told DH.

Manoj Kumar (28), the victim of the IISc hydrogen gas blast and his wife Anusha were in a relationship for 11 years before getting married a year ago. Natives of Mysuru, they were residing near the Manyata tech park. 

"Manoj and Anusha recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. But it is very unfortunate as their married life came to an end so soon. Manoj's brother got married last month. We still remember Manoj's charming face greeting everyone at the wedding," recalled Niranjan Babu, Anusha's maternal uncle.

After the postmortem, Manoj's body was taken to Mysuru, where the last rites are scheduled to take place on Thursday.