Bhubaneswar: Prohibitory orders were clamped around the main gate of Bhushan steel plant in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district Monday as protests continued five days after a blast furnace explosion left one person dead and several injured.

The order, under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), prohibits assembly of more than four people.

The prohibitory orders will remain in force for one month, district Superintendent of Police Manoranjan Mohanty told IANS.

More than 700 families who live in the plant premises were not able to come out and were facing difficulties in buying rations and other essential commodities as some workers, trade union leaders and political activists had blocked the gate after the Nov 13 mishap, the police officer said.

Police forcibly removed protestors and deployed security personnel at the gate after imposing prohibitory orders, he said.

The explosion occurred Nov 13 in blast furnace 2 at the steel plant of Bhushan Steel Ltd., in Narendrapur village, about 150 km from Bhubaneswar.

The plant officials claimed a worker had died and about 15 were injured.

However, people in the area said that there was need for investigation, and the number of deaths may have been much higher.

The state government has launched a probe after allegations that the company concealed information about the number of those who died and were injured in the blast.

Though the local authorities sealed the blast furnace after the incident and arrested three senior company officials for negligence, protestors were demanding a judicial probe into the matter, accusing the company and the government of concealing information from them.

Source: IANS