9 killed in blast at Bhilai steel plant: Police

9 killed in blast at Bhilai steel plant: Police

Visuals from outside a hospital in Bhilai; 6 people have died and 14 injured in a gas pipeline blast in Bhilai Steel Plant. ANI

A blast at the Bhilai Steel Plant here in Chhattisgarh killed 9 employees and injured 14 on Tuesday, the police said. The explosion at the plant of the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took place at around 10.30 am, the police said.

The explosion took place in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town, located around 30 km away from the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) G P Singh told PTI.

As per preliminary information, over 24 employees were working at the spot when the accident occurred, he said. Police personnel and a rescue team rushed to the spot, Singh said, adding that all the victims were being taken to a local hospital. Superintendent of Police of Durg district Sanjeev Shukla said 9 people were killed in the incident.

A statement issued by the SAIL also put the death toll at 9 and said 14 were undergoing medical treatment. It said there was a fire in gas pipe line of Coke Oven Battery Complex No. 11 during a scheduled maintenance job. The fire has been controlled, the SAIL said.

"All resources have been mobilized to provide adequate care to the injured," the statement said. As per SAIL's website, the Bhilai Steel Plant is India's sole producer and supplier of world class rails for the Indian Railways, including 260 metre long rails, and a major producer of a large variety of wide and heavy steel plates and structural steel.

With an annual production capacity of 3.153 MT of saleable steel, the plant also specialises in other products such as wire rods and merchant products.