Bhilai, Mar 24:
On Friday, a major fire broke out at the Tar Factory of Bhilai Steel Plant causing loss of crores to the flagship unit of Maharatna PSU – SAIL. BSP fire brigade assisted by Fire Tenders of state government conducted fire fighting for hours to bring the blaze under control and extinguish it completely. Fortunately there were no casualties but the repeated mishaps have exposed the safety standards in the continent’s largest steel plant.
According to information, fire broke out due to unknown causes at the Tar Distillation Unit of Coke Ovens and Coal Chemicals (CO&CC) Department in Bhilai Steel Plant at around 08:30 hrs. Soon the entire premises of this factory got engulfed in flames. Sensing trouble, the employees working in this unit rushed to safe spots and raised alarm. About ten fire tenders of BSP’s fire brigade reached the spot and fire fighting was launched. But the highly combustible tar stored here added fuel to the fire and the situation went out of proportion. Till then, all the top officials of Bhilai Steel Plant had reached there to control the situation. In the meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also came to know about the incident and he immediately instructed the District Collector to look into the matter and provide all possible support for fighting the blaze.
Fire Tenders from Raipur also rushed to Bhilai Steel Plant to assist the BSP Fire Brigade. After a long struggle, the firemen managed to douse the flames and cool down the entire premises. Major portion of the Tar Distillation Unit # 1 was destroyed in this fire. The loss occurred in this mishap is yet to be estimated. Trade Unions active in Bhilai Steel Plant alleged that the negligent attitude of management over safety issues was the cause of this mishap. In an official communication, BSP authorities informed, “A fire was reported at Tar Distillation Unit of SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant in its Coke Ovens and Coal Chemicals (CO&CC) Department at 8:30 AM this morning. Immediately, the fire tenders were rushed to the site and the fire has been controlled with greatest promptitude.
There has been no loss of life or any injury to any of the persons working in or around the site. The reason for the fire is being probed into. Meanwhile, there has not been any disruption in the Plant’s normal operation.”
Bhilai, Mar 24: