Satinder Pal Singh
Dera Bassi, August 24
Sixteen workers were injured when a reactor exploded at a manufacturing unit of a pharmaceutical firm in Saidpura village near Dera Bassi here this afternoon.
A number of workers were on duty when a reactor exploded in the production block-oral G unit of Nector Lifesciences Limited, said factory officials, adding that the cause of the blast was yet to be ascertained. They said rescue operation began immediately after the incident and the injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital.
Dera Bassi SMO Sangeeta Jain said the injured with minor burns were identified as Surinder (45), Ramesh (38) and Om Prakash (42). Jasbir (20), Amit Kumar (25), Ashwani (24) and Anup were referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, Chandigarh, she added. One of these four had sustained over 60 per cent burns.
The remaining nine injured employees were admitted to JP Hospital at Zirakpur.
Employees said the explosion was deafening and those injured were thrown several metres away due to the impact of the blast. A wall of the building blew away in the incident. A major part of the chemical unit turned into mangled remains of steel and concrete.
Windowpanes of an adjacent unit were broken too and parts of some metals were scattered in an area of around 100 metres. Cops police and officials of the district administration reached the spot within a few minutes of the explosion and inspected the rescue operations.
DSP Manjit Singh Aulakh visited the spot and said no reason could be attributed to the incident immediately. He said he had asked the management of the factory to identify the reason behind the blast, adding that action would be taken only after perusing the report.
Dera Bassi SDM Pooja Siyal has directed the plant head to immediately cease operations at the unit.
DC Girish Dayalan has marked an inquiry into the incident. This is not the first such incident in the area. Three years ago, a major fire broke out at the unit-II of Nectar Lifesciences Limited.
Employees help victims
Employees of the other units of the factory rushed to the spot after the blast. They searched each and every corner of the factory to rescue workers trapped there and shifted the injured to ambulances with the help of cops and Fire Brigade officials.
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