Bhubaneswar: Authorities here Saturday speeded up the verification of workers who were allegedly present at the steel plant of Bhushan Steel Ltd. in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district during a blast furnace explosion over a week ago.

At least 35 labour contractors and placement agencies supplied labourers to the plant. The workers belong to Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, a senior district administrative official told IANS.

According to the labour contractors and placement agencies as many as 974 workers were engaged at the site on that day, he said.

So far the whereabouts of about 720 workers were known. The administration has constituted several teams to verify them, he added.

The explosion occurred Nov 13 in blast furnace no.2 at the steel plant in Narendrapur village, about 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. Officials have so far confirmed that two workers have died and 29 were injured in the incident.

The state government launched a probe after allegations that the company did not give accurate information about the number of those dead and injured in the accident.

Panicked over the explosion, large numbers of workers have left the plant. The teams have collected details of all the labourers from the contractors and placement agencies and are trying to ascertain their whereabouts, he said.

The administration has not received any missing person complaint so far, he said. Police arrested three senior company officials for negligence soon after the incident.