A major fire broke out at Visakha Solvents' plant in Vizag pharma city in Vishakhapatnam at 10.45 pm on Monday night, leaving one dead and three injured. A senior government official, requesting anonymity, said there were four workers at the plant and all of them fled the site at the time of the incident. However, one of the workers, Srinivas, was reported dead on Tuesday morning.
Another worker, Mallesh, also suffered injuries but has recovered, he adds. The official said the report given by the company management suggests the workers, instead of using fire extinguishers, opted to flee. He added a probe was on to find out the exact cause of the accident. He also said this might be a case of inadequate "worker training".
"There was a fire spark in one of the four columns that led to a fire in the entire column. As soon as we received the information, we pressed fire tenders into service. Solvent, by its very nature, is highly inflammable items and, therefore, adequate precautions should have been taken while handling it," V Vinay Chand, Vizag district collector, told BusinessToday.In.
The incident comes close on the heels of a gas leak at the LG Polymer plant on the outskirts of Vizag in May, which left 11 people dead and several hundreds injured. Government officials say these two incidents are not connected. However, they say there is a need to check the roles and responsibilities of regulatory bodies, particularly the factories department, to plug any loopholes. There are various bodies that regulate industrial units such as factories, boilers, etc. Officials say issues around worker training, including mock drills records, need to be addressed to avoid such incidents.