At least nine persons have been killed and 14 have been seriously injured in a blast at the Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhatisgarh in eastern India. The explosion at the plant owned by the state-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took place at around 10:30 a.m. (Indian Standard Time), the police said.
"A fire in the gas pipeline of Coke Oven Battery Complex No. 11 of its Bhilai Steel Plant broke out at around 10:30 a.m. today. The fire broke out during a scheduled maintenance job. Nine persons have lost their lives and 14 are undergoing medical treatment for burn injuries," the Ministry of Steel informed, releasing a statement.
"All resources have been mobilized to provide adequate care to the injured. SAIL is providing all the support to the families of the affected," SAIL said.
Bhilai Steel Plant is India's sole producer and supplier of rails for Indian Railways, including 260-meter-long rails, and a major producer of a large variety of wide and heavy steel plates and structural steel.
India's Minister of State for Steel, Vishnudeo Sai, Steel Secretary, Binoy Kumar, and SAIL Chairman, Saraswati Prasad along with other senior officers have rushed to Bhilai to take stock of the situation and meet the bereaved families.