Times of India – Inquiry ordered into ship blast at Alang

(Written by Himanshu Kaushik)

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8 July 2014 - AHMEDABAD: The state government has formed a three-member committee to investigate into a blast incident triggered by suspected gas leak that took place in a ship being dismantled at the Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar district.

Five persons were killed on Saturday and eight others were injured when the blast took place in a ship. The state government in reply to a motion seeking urgent attention of the government said that each worker who died would be entitled to receive Rs five lakh compensation apart from the Works Men Compensation.

A notice seeing the attention was given by Congress MLAs – Raghavji Patel, Punja Vansh and Bholabhia Gohil. Cabinet minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said that the workers had already dismantled four chambers and were in the process of cutting the wall between the fourth and fifth chamber when the incident occurred.

He said that the intensity of the blast was so high that each worker who died was flung 60 feet off from the spot. Chudasma said that soon after the incidents, senior officials form the state government rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. He said that the owner of the plot had taken all required permissions from the various departments of the state government.

Giving out details he said that the ship was brought on port for dismantling on April 5. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board had inspected the ship and had given dismantling certificate on May 5. According to primary investigation, a case has been registered against the owners of the plot and they have filed for anticipatory bail. However, the eight injured workers were out of danger.

Chudasma said that if anyone was found guilty in the three-member inquiry, the government would definitely take action. He assured the house that no one would be spared.

Officials said that Prima facie, the blast occurred due to sudden gas leakage when ship-breaking activity was in progress, the officer said.