Investigation team visits fish processing unit at Devalkunda

01:32 AM Apr 05, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
Kundapur: Prima Facie of the incident that caused ammonia poisoning to 75 workers after ammonia leaked at the fish processing unit at Devalkunda in the taluk happened because of the negligence on the part of the company concerned, said Assistant Commissioner Dr S S Madhukeshwar after visiting Malpe Fresh Marine Exports unit located at Devalkunda in Katbeltoor panchayat limits on Wednesday August 14 as an investigating official. He said that the concerned had been asked to take all necessary steps and different departments will hold investigations on the allegation of negligence. Madhukeshwar is the head of the committee formed by the deputy commissioner of the district to investigate the incident and had consultations with government officials before visiting the site. He noted that out of eight tonnes of gas in the unit, 1.5 tonne continues to be in the gas pipeline and this presence of the gas can cause danger because of increasing pressure. "For clearing this gas, experts from Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers will be coming here. When clearing the gas, fire brigade, ambulance and such other safety measures will be kept on standby. We have barred entry of people into this factory. The people deputed by the company in Mumbai which supplied the machinery have arrived. They will check the temporary welding done at the leakage spot. Officials of the boiler section in the department of industries will be present. The company has to issue no objection letter for operating the machinery again. The factory will become functional again only after all the safety measures are in place. In the meanwhile, the workers have been given holiday for a week," informed the assisstant commissioner. Madhukeshwar explained that the unit employs 401 workers and that there are no pay-related complaints. The residential quarters cannot be provided to workers within the compound of the factory and the labour department will call for explanations for violation, he informed. He noted that proper attention to maintain the unit has not been taken and even though mock drills about fire and factory accidents were arranged, no one was educated about the handling of chemical-related accidents and safety. Even the first- aid equipment and life saving gear for those who handle exigencies had not been provided. He informed that no objection certificates from the fire brigade had not been obtained since the last 12 years and the waste from the factory was being disposed off at Vandse village. Suitable action will be taken, he stated. Apparently, the gas leak occurred because of the iron bolt fitted to the clamp where two pipes have been joined together, had gathered rust and disintegrated due to non-maintenance, he said. Deputy Superintendent of police, Dinesh Kumar, district health officer, Dr Ashok, tahsildar, Tippeswarmy, Byndoor taluk health officer, Dr Premanand, Dr Laxmikanth of Pollution Control Board and others were present.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.