ELURU: The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has issued orders shutting down Porus Laboratories with immediate effect for non-compliance of safety procedures. Action was taken against the factory under Section 33A of the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act, 1974 and the Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act, 1981. The PCB also directed authorities of the Central Power Distribution Company to disconnect the power supply.
The blowup at the factory located at Akkireddigudem village in the new Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh, at 10.55 pm on Wednesday night left six dead and more than 12 people seriously injured and caused damage to the environment.
Pollution control board officials on Thursday conducted inspections at the premises. It was found that the Pollution control regulations were found to be non-compliant and the effluents were polluting the surrounding areas. Pollution Control Board Chairman AK Parida said that orders have been issued to dispose of the waste in the factory in a phase-wise manner. Prima facie, the blast seems to have occurred because of a gas leak that induced high pressure.
The uncontrolled reaction temperature might have led to pressurise the reactor and could be the root cause for the explosion in the Block-D of Unit-4, followed by fire.
The mishap occurred during the first stage of chemical reaction that was being carried out at a temperature range of 150-180 degrees centigrade,” a report by the PCB noted. When the fire broke out employees on duty at the block there at the time were caught in the blaze. Five were burnt alive on the spot while another died on the way while being rushed to a hospital in Vijayawada. Four of the deceased were from the Nalanda district in Bihar state. One was a local from Akkireddygudem and the other hailed from Reddigudem Mandal in NTR District. The deceased have been identified as Udurupati Krishnayya (34) (chemist), Avadesh Ravidas (30), Karu Ravidas (25), Manoj Kumar (25), Suvas Ravidas (32), and Boppudi Kiran (32).
The 12 critically injured were initially rushed to a government hospital in Vijayawada for treatment. Later, 11 of them were moved to a private hospital in the city for better treatment after one person who suffered 5 percent injuries was given treatment and sent home. The injured were identified as Rosha (30), Sudhir Ravidas (30), Ravi (36), Varun Das (30), Mubarak (30), Sudhir Kumar (35), Joseph (30), Vikari Ravidas (30) and Nageswara Rao(30), from local villages, Mullapudi Nagraj (35) and SK Subhani (30).
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister expressed shock over the incident and the State Government and Porus management have announced an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh each to the bereaved families. The government also announced that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the severely injured and Rs 2 lakh for those who have suffered minor injuries would be given.