Bhubaneswar: Odisha Wednesday directed the Bhushan Steel Ltd to shut down its units in Dhenkanal district, after a worker died and several others were left injured when a blast furnace exploded seven days ago.

“We have issued closure direction for the blast furnace where the incident has taken place and two ancillary units, including a 256 megawatts power plant and a cold rolling mill,” Member-Secretary Lalit Kumar Tewari of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) told IANS.

“They were operating without having necessary permissions,” he said.

“The units were sealed by the local authorities soon after the mishap. We have only formalised the order,” Tewari said.

The explosion occurred Nov 13 in blast furnace No.2 at the steel plant at Narendrapur village, about 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. Plant officials claimed a worker died and over a dozen people were injured in the incident.

Though the state government launched a probe after allegations were made that the company concealed information about the numbers of those dead and injured in the accident, a clear picture is yet to emerge.

Police have arrested three senior company officials for negligence.

Trade union leaders have been demanding a judicial probe into the matter, while accusing the company and the government of concealing information.

Source: IANS