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No inflammable residue found at burnt BARC lab

Source: PTI
January 08, 2010 20:54 IST
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A forensic probe of the fire that broke out at a Bhabha Atomic Research Centre lab in which two research students were burnt alive found no evidence of explosives or inflammable residue even as the exact cause was still wrapped in mystery ten days after the blaze.

The forensic analysis did not find any explosives or inflammable residue in the debris in the burnt third-floor modular lab at the BARC, sources said quoting the forensic report.

Two young PhD student -- Umang Singh and Partha Bag -- were killed in the blaze on December 29 at the the chemistry lab of the premier institution managed by the Department of Atomic Energy at Trombay in Mumbai.

The forensic report was submitted to the police which is probing the incident. The Department of Atomic Energy has ruled out the possibility of a sabotage or an external hand in the fire.

The chances of finding the exact cause of the fire are remote as no physical evidence is left since everything in the lab has been charred, the sources said.

Forensic experts are, however, still analysing the burnt computers and hard disks, they said.

Srikumar Banerjee, Atomic Energy Commission chairman and BARC Director had earlier said, "We are also looking at the possibility of vapour accumulation. The problem is that everything was charred and not much trace of anything is left."

The lab had undergone painting work and was handed over to the department on the fateful day. Relatives of the two victims have alleged negligence by BARC and demanded a thorough probe.

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