Govt forms panel to probe accident at SAIL's Bhilai plant

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The government has set up an independent panel to probe the June 12 leakage of toxic gas at the Steel Authority of India's Bhilai plant that left six people dead.

"We have constituted a four-member panel" which will investigate the accident, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today.

The committee will submit its final report to the Secretary in the Ministry of Steel by July 17.

Tomar, who also holds the Labour and Employment portfolio, said the issue was being looked at seriously in order to check the recurrence of such mishaps.

The committee headed by KK Mehrotra, former CMD of MECON, will have three members - KAP Singh, former MD of Bokaro Steel Plant, SB Mathur, Director General of the Directorate General of Factory Advice Service & Labour Institute in Mumbai, and Soumitra Tarafder, Chief Scientist at the National Metallurgical Laboratory in Jamshedpur, according to an official statement.

Earlier, a probe headed by the Durg Additional District Magistrate had been ordered into the incident.

The leakage of carbon monoxide at the plant affected 36 people. Five of them, including two Deputy General Managers, died during treatment, while the body of Vikas Verma, a contract worker, was found in the pump house where the mishap occurred.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called up Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh last week to enquire about the situation.

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