2 killed in boiler explosion

Iron lid weighing half-a-tonne blown over 300 metres away

Tragedy: A view of the chemical factory after the boiler explosion in Bangalore on Friday. (Inset) Prem Bahadur, one of the deceased. DH photo

Byre Gowda (60) and Prem Bahadur (39), both employees at the factory, are the deceased. Four of the injured persons have been admitted to a nearby private hospital and their condition is stated to be stable.

The explosion at Kiran Global Chemicals at Thirupalya in Hebbagodi police station limits on Hosur Road was so massive that an iron lid of the boiler weighing around half-a-tonne was blown over 300 meters away from the spot, along with several angle rods and iron sheets. The debris of sodium silicate which shoot up several meters high due to the impact of the blast rained on the entire area damaging the asbestos sheet roofs of labourers’ quarters located just behind the factory, injuring several people.

Conventional fuel
The factory manufactures diluted sodium silicate from solid sodium silicate and supplies the end product to soap companies. Police sources said that the three boilers in which the solid sodium silicate is melted with water are 30 years’ old and installed at the time of establishing the factory. The boiler was a conventional one and fuelled by wood.

According to eye-witnesses, the incident occurred at about 8.05 am. The operation commenced at 3 in the morning on Friday with Byre Gowda lighting the wood in the hearth of a boiler. Thirty minutes after he fed more wood to the hearth, the boiler blew up with a loud thud that was heard at a distance of five kilometres away from the factory.

Byre Gowda, who was near the boiler, was killed on the spot while Prem Sai, the watchman, was tossed in the air and died after ramming the branch of a tree, police said.
“We are still horrified to recall the sound of the blast. We had never heard such a loud one before. Even my cousin living in Anekal, nearly five kilometres away from here, heard this sound,” said Devanna.

Hebbagodi police have registered a case under Sections 337 and 304(A) of IPC. Sources said that the deceased Byre Gowda was a native of Kanakapura and working for the factory for the last eight years. Prem Bahadur was a native of Nepal and was working as a security guard for the last 18 years. The reason for the explosion is being investigated.

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