42 Italians shifted from Odisha's steel plant for safety

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 : Forty-two Italians from Bhushan steel plant in Odisha's Dhenkanal district were shifted to Bhubaneswar Sunday as anger intensified four days after a blast furnace explosion left one dead and several injured, police said.

The Italian nationals, mostly engineers, wanted to stay in the state capital citing safety reasons, Dhenkanal superintendent of police Manoranjan Mohanty told IANS.

Police helped them to come out of the plant as workers continued to stage protest in front of the plant gate, he said, adding that 28 other foreigners belonging to seven to eight countries, however, continued to stay in the plant colony.

State's Labour and Employees' Insurance department minister Bijayshree Routray Saturday said at least five foreign nationals -- two from Thailand and three from China -- were missing after Wednesday blast furnace explosion.

However, Mohanty said, after verification police found no foreign national was missing.

The explosion occurred Nov 13 at about 10 a.m. in the blast furnace no. 2 at the steel plant of Bhushan Steel Ltd., at Narendrapur village, about 150 km from Bhubaneswar. The plant officials claimed a worker died and 15 were injured in the incident.

The state government has launched a probe after allegation surfaced that the company concealed information regarding the number of deaths and injuries.

Though the local authorities sealed the blast furnace after the incident, and arrested three senior company officials for negligence, workers, trade union activists and politicians continued their protest near the plant Sunday while accusing the company and the government of concealing information.

Mohanty, however, said: "The situation is under control."

--IANS (Posted on 18-11-2013)

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