Four killed in reactor blast in Tamil Nadu

Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu, India), May 14 : In a major mishap, four persons were killed and 17 others injured in a reactor vessel blast in Cuddalore city of Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

A blast took place at pesticides manufacturing industry at Kudikadu in Cuddalore on Thursday resulted in the killing three men and a woman besides injuring of 17 other persons. The blast occurred at one of the reactor vessels in Crimsun Organics.

Panic gripped the people of surrounding villages who came out of their houses following a deafening sound and thick smoke emanating from the unit.

“The industry manufactured chemicals, which are known to be toxic and have both environmental and health hazards. The incident occurred due to a neglect of safety norms,” said T. Arul Selvam of the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM), an environmental watchdog.

Shweta Narayan, an environmentalist, said Cuddalore SIPCOT is an industrial disaster in waiting. She said on a daily basis, for the last 15 years villagers have recorded the slow-motion disasters that occurring in the place. “The villagers have been pointing this out but unfortunately, this has fallen on deaf ears of the government and the regulatory agencies. There have been gas leaks, effluent discharges that poison the water and today’s accident does not come as a surprise,” she said.

Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development C.V. Ganesan visited the people injured in the explosion who are being treated at the Cuddalore Government General Hospital. Speaking to reporters, Ganesan said that four people had died, and 17 others were injured in the industrial accident.

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