OSH INDIA Hyderabad
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Four die due to toxic gas leak in Rourkela

Four contract workers died after toxic gas leaked at the Coal Chemicals Department of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in Odisha on Wednesday morning.

The workers of Star Constructions, a maintenance contractor firm, took ill around 9 am following the leak at the plant operated by state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL).

RSP officials said the affected persons were rushed to the OHS Centre inside the plant and later moved to the Intensive Care Unit at Ispat General Hospital. They died while undergoing treatment. “The workers were engaged in maintenance work at the coal chemicals unit when the incident took place.

Further investigations are underway,” a police official said. The deceased have been identified as Ganesh Chandra Paila (59), Rabindra Sahu (59), Brahmananda Panda (51), and Abhimanyu Sahu (33). “All emergency protocols have been immediately activated in the plant. A high-level probe into the accident has been ordered,” officials said.

RSP CEO Dipak Chattaraj expressed deep anguish over the tragedy, and said RSP will extend every possible support to the bereaved families, and inquire into the incident. A high-level committee comprising three chief general managers has been formed to carry out the inquiry. “The identity of the gas is yet to be ascertained. The inquiry committee will investigate the matter. Two deputy general managers from CCD and Energy Management Department (EMD) have been suspended with immediate effect. It has been decided that one family member of each of the victims will be provided with jobs by the plant,” an RSP official said.

RSP was India’s first integrated steel plant in the public sector, and currently produces 4.5 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) of hot metal.