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Blast-hit Chhattisgarh unit to stop production; CM says firm to pay Rs 30 lakh to kin of deceased

One person was killed and at least six were injured in a blast at Special Blasts Limited near Pirda village in Berla development block on May 25, where rescuers had also found body parts in the debris.
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 16:54 IST
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 16:54 IST

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Bemetara: Days after a massive blast at an explosives manufacturing factory in Chhattisgarh's Bemetara district, the local administration on Wednesday ordered the shutting of production and 'allied activities' in the unit.

While the Congress demanded financial aid of Rs 1 crore and government job for kin of the deceased, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said the factory management would give financial assistance of Rs 30 lakh each to kin of the one deceased and eight missing workers.

One person was killed and at least six were injured in a blast at Special Blasts Limited near Pirda village in Berla development block on May 25, where rescuers had also found body parts in the debris.

According to the district administration, the body parts have been sent for DNA examination to identify those missing.

Bemetara Collector Ranbir Sharma in an order on Wednesday said, “The explosion at the Special Blasts Limited has claimed lives. In view of public safety after the incident, it has been ordered to shut production and allied activities in the factory till further orders.”

The factory management will have to ensure the security of explosive materials stored there, it added.

The district administration has also issued an order for a magisterial probe into the incident as announced earlier by the state government.

As per the order issued on Monday, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Berla area), Bemetara district, Pinkey Manhar has been appointed the investigation officer of the magisterial probe.

The terms of reference of the probe include the cause of the explosion, examination of safety measures arranged by the factory management, details of license, storage and use, and determining responsibility if there is any fault or negligence found in connection with the incident, it said.

The investigation officer will have to submit a report within 45 days, it added.

Officials earlier said an FIR connection in the incident will be lodged after the magisterial probe.

The state government has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.

The collector had earlier said the factory management was instructed to provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of eight missing workers.

The compensation announced by the state government for the deceased will be given to the kin of the missing workers after the DNA examination of the body parts found in the debris, he added.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Charan Das Mahant demanded financial aid of Rs 1 crore and government job to the kin of the deceased. He sought registration of an FIR against the occupier and manager of the unit.

Mahant, the leader of opposition in the Assembly, said the blast happened due to the negligence of the state government.

The chief minister and the state's labour minister are in 'deep slumber' and do not have the time to visit the accident site and offer condolences to the relatives of the deceased, he said.

The state should ensure that the factory management gives a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the kin of the deceased, he said in a statement.

The state government must also give jobs to one member of the family of the deceased, he demanded.

Despite four days having passed, the police have not registered the FIR which clearly shows that the state government is trying to save the culprits, he claimed.

The occupier and the manager of the factory should immediately be arrested and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) should be formed to probe the matter, he added.

CM Sai said in a post on X that the management of the explosives company will give Rs 30 lakh each to the families of one deceased and 8 missing workers.

“The financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to kin of each of the deceased announced by the Chhattisgarh government will be in addition to the said amount,” he added.

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Published 29 May 2024, 16:54 IST

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