As many as three industrial mishaps in a single day are certainly worrisome. While the country was still shaken up by the poisonous gas leak in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, that has killed at least 11 people, two more factory accidents were simultaneously reported from the states of Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu.
The three back-to-back hazardous incidents took place as states have lifted a few lockdown restrictions allowing factories to resume operations after a period of over 40 days.
The Vizag gas leak tragedy
In the wee hours of Thursday, May 7, a gas called styrene leaked from an LG Polymers plant near Visakhapatnam and spread over a radius of about three kilometers, rattling thousands.
At least 11 people died while hundreds were taken ill after complaining of breathing difficulties and burning sensation in the eyes. Several pictures and clips of the unfortunate incident show people dropping unconscious on streets as they breathe in the poisonous gas.
State Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy pointed out the negligence of the authorities of the LG plant, saying that they did not undertake stringent measures while resuming operations.
Chhattisgarh witnesses similar accident
Hours after the Vizag tragedy, another gas leak at a paper mill in Chhattisgarh's Raigarh district led to seven workers falling ill. According to the police, the workers had come in to clean an open tank at Shakti Paper Mill in Tetla village.
The police further informed the mill had been shut ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed to battle COVID-19. However, with certain relaxations being allowed, the factory was preparing to restart functions and thus, the cleaning work was underway.
Tamil Nadu rocked by boiler explosion
The third industrial accident of the day was reported from the state of Tamil Nadu where a boiler exploded at Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) thermal power station in Cuddalore.
At least 8 workers were injured in the explosion which is currently being inspected by the NLC authorities as well as the police.
Reports have it that the blast took place in the sixth unit of the second power plant. The cause of the explosion is yet to determined.
Takeaway for businesses
The completely avoidable mishaps will serve as a wake-up call for other big businesses that are planning to reopen their factories after a gap of over a month. Taking a cue from the accidents, they can undertake stricter measures and guide their workforce effectively in order to ensure that the restarting of functions goes smoothly.
The incidents of gas leaks certainly pose a lot of danger not only to the workers present in the factories but also to the general public as they tend to spread over a fairly long distance. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the factory owners to put in place protocols that would diminish the chances of such accidents in the future.