Four labourers died and 13 others were injured following leakage of poisonous phosgene gas at a chemical plant of state PSU Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd in a village in Bharuch.
“Four persons have been killed due to poisonous gas leakage from reactor gasket at GNFC plant at Rahiad village in Dahej taluka,” District Collector Sandip Sagale said.
The mishap took place late on Wednesday night when mechanical failure in a chemical reactor at the company’s Toluene Di-Isocyanate plant caused leakage of poisonous phosgene gas, he said.
The deceased have been identified as Khurshid Rai, Wasi Ahmed, Mohammad Jamimuddin and Mohammad Taiba.
“We have launched an investigation into the matter with officials of industrial safety from the district and the state inspecting the site. The company has also formed a high-level technical committee to investigate the accident,” Sagale said.
A company official said the leakage took place when around 13-15 contract labourers working in nearby units were exposed to the poisonous gas due to leakage in the reactor gasket.
“Contractual labourers who often work till late in different shifts were affected. We rushed some of them to our own hospital at the company, while those critically affected were rushed to private hospitals in Bharuch,” the official said.
The 13 injured were admitted to a hospital in Bharuch. Of them, two have been referred to government hospital in Vadodara. Three workers were discharged, Bharuch Superintendent of Police Sandeep Singh said.
A team of Forensic Science Laboratory will visit the site later in the day, he added.