Chattisgarh: 6 fall ill after toxic gas leak in Bhilai steel plant

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"A security guard is silhouetted against defunct machinery at the Union Carbide pesticide plant where 40 tons of lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked in Bhopal, India, on Dec. 3, 1984. An Indian court on Monday, June 7, 2010 convicted seven former senior employees of Union Carbide's Indian subsidiary of ""death by negligence"" for their roles in the Bhopal gas tragedy that left an estimated 15,000 people dead more than a quarter century ago." *** Local Caption *** "A security guard is silhouetted against defunct machinery at the Union Carbide pesticide plant where 40 tons of lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked in Bhopal, India, on Dec. 3, 1984. An Indian court on Monday, June 7, 2010 convicted seven former senior employees of Union Carbide's Indian subsidiary of ""death by negligence"" for their roles in the Bhopal gas tragedy that left an estimated 15,000 people dead more than a quarter century ago. AP Photo"

Six employees, including a senior official, fell ill after inhaling some toxic gas leaked in the Bhilai plant of the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in Durg district of Chhattisgarh early on Friday, officials said.

The incident occurred in the blast furnace number 8 around 2 am, they said.

“Owing to material slippage inside the blast furnace no. 8, pressure increased inside the furnace and got released through the drain pot of hydraulic U seal that is installed for such purposes,” a statement issued by the plant said.

“One loco operator and two shunting staff, who were inside the locomotive that was positioned below the U seal, got affected by the release of gas,” it added.

The affected trio was immediately taken to the main medical post inside the plant. Two persons, among those who shifted the affected staff, also suffered minor exposure to the gas, the statement said.

All the five persons were then admitted to the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) Hospital & Research Centre Bhilai, it added.

Later, an official of the Energy Management Department, who was engaged with his team to attend to the gas leakage, was also admitted to that hospital after he complained of headache, it said, adding that all the affected persons are out of danger now.

The leakage of gas was later stopped and the situation was brought under control, the release said.

The affected employees were identified as Abhishek Anand, K Nagraj, Balkrishna, Santosh Kumar and Kalidas, all belonging to RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) and Deputy General Manager of the plant Rajesh Kumar, the statement said.

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