Rourkela: The five Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) workers who fell sick due to gas leak in the Blast Furnace -5 on October 13, were released from the IGH the next day morning , said a Plant spokesperson.

According to the spokesperson, on October 13  five workmen went to  check the leakage and after it was detected in the 4th Cooler the repair job commenced. The workplace was monitored with portable carbon monoxide monitor. The workmen also carried the carbon monoxide monitor at 33 meter height. The work was completed at about 11:30 a.m. Workmen left the spot after completing the job.  After climbing down and reaching the ground they  reported a feeling of uneasiness. As a precautionary measure, the alert officers immediately sent them first to the Occupational Health Centre. Thereafter they were sent to IGH and kept in ICU for testing the vital parameters and keeping them under observation.   After a thorough check up  it was found that all their  vital parameters were normal. They were then  shifted to the Ward in the evening. All the five persons were released from IGH on 14th October morning, said the spokesperson.

Stating that the cooling system of the BF -5 is of vital importance as it protects the shell and the lining of the blast furnace against overheating, the spokesperson said  monitoring of the cooling system is being done round the clock to detect any water leakage into the furnace. During one such routine monitoring water leakage was suspected in the plate cooling system of the furnace at 33 Meter level. As leakage  of water can lead to major  problems, action was taken to immediately repair the same. The job was assigned to M/s Tata Projects Limited.

After preparation and planning with all concerned persons and with all resources the job was taken up on 13thOctober 2017 at 10.30 am, claimed the spokesperson adding, gas masks,  portable gas monitors and other PPEs were taken to site. All working personnel were given proper training in the use of PPEs as well as awareness regarding  safety aspects.  Keeping in mind  the critical nature of the job the senior most DGM (Operations) of BF along with other senior officers as well as the site in charge of  Tata Projects Ltd  were present at the site, the spokesperson said.