9 workers injured in blast at Tuem cement block unit

MAPUSA: Nine workers were on Saturday injured, three of them seriously, following a blast that occurred in a cement block manufacturing unit in Tuem industrial estate in North Goa. The explosion also resulted in damage to property to the tune of Rs 25 lakh.
The intensity of the blast was such that an autoclave pipe flew off with the impact and landed over 200 metres away damaging a truck, car and two two-wheelers besides a part of the neighbouring factory.
According to Pernem fire station, a call was received around 12.15 pm informing about the explosion in the unit M/S Venlax, owned by one Rajendra Joshi.
Accordingly, a team led by Pernem station in-charge Namdev Parwar and comprising Harsha Sawant, Ketan Kamulkar, Vishnudatta Parab, Shailesh Hadonkar and Ratan Parab was despatched to the spot. The team had to use breathing apparatus while entering the factory to rescue the injured workers.
The fire personnel succeeded in rescuing the nine injured workers from the spot; the three seriously injured workers – boiler operator Akhil Naik, boiler helper Ajit Nake and Ramazan Ali – were rushed to the Goa Medical College and hospital at Bambolim for medical treatment. Out of the three, two are said to be critical, as they have suffered burns and sustained fractures. The six other workers, who sustained minor injuries were discharged after being administered treatment at Tuem hospital.
In its report, the Pernem fire station has stated that the extent of damage in the incident is around 100 square metres of area wherein property worth over Rs 25 lakh has been damaged which includes part of a structure, machinery, cement blocks, truck, plastic water tanks and a chamber conveyance pipe. Even compound wall and staircase of another unit have been damaged, states the report. The cause of the explosion is, however, not known.
When contacted, Parwar said, “We received the call and our team rushed at the spot and found that there was a lot of damaged property. We then used breathing apparatus to enter the factory, as there was some leakage in the premises. Our priority was to save the lives of the workers and by using hydraulic tools, we rescued them.” He further said, “It was an explosion of a huge industrial conveyance pipe, which flew away and hit a truck parked nearby. The blast also led to the bursting of plastic water storage tanks belonging to another industrial unit and damaged a car and two bikes parked around 100 metres away from the blast site.”
Eyewitnesses claimed that the impact of the explosion was such that the damaged items including cement blocks were flung nearly a kilometre away near a residential area, thus resulting in fear and anxiety among the locals.
Pernem police has registered an offence against the factory owner for negligence and causing injuries to workers.
Pernem police inspector Sandesh Chodankar said that there is some confusion regarding the explosion, as there was no fire and the boiler is also intact. “There is another part where the boiler passes steam into a big pipe called autoclave where cement blocks are kept. Somehow the steam escaped from the pipe resulting in the pipe flying off to a distance of around 150-200 metres,” he said and added that only experts will be able to ascertain how the steam escaped.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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