Dr Reddy's to be issued notice for gas leak

The Directorate of Factories of Andhra Pradesh has decided to issue a notice to the pharma major for the accident.

According to Bala Kishore, Director of Factories, the department has formally sealed the 'micronisation' room in which the mishap occurred.

"We will issue a notice to the company in a day or two, asking it to explain on certain aspects of the safety. Based on their reply, we may further proceed with filing case against them," Bala Kishore told PTI today.

He said that according to Factories Rules they need to file a case in the court within three months or otherwise it becomes invalid.

The Directorate of Factories focuses on development of factories in the State and addresses issues such as the welfare of workers.

Two persons--chemist Sridhar Reddy (38) and a contract worker Dipak Kumar Jena (22)-- died on Tuesday night following the gas leak at the US Food and Drug Administration-approved plant at Bollaram that produces Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API).

The Factories Director said in the initial probe they found that there was power cut on the night of December 21, that disrupted air handling unit, which sends excess nitrogen gas from the "clean room", in which the victims were working on the process of micronisation of Omeprazole powder, leading to the leak.

"Company should have made arrangements to see that the nitrogen gas (leak) stopped when the air handling unit does not function. We are studying on that angle. We are consulting some experts and we will take their opinion," Kishore said.

He said they have formed a Committee to look into the whole episode.

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