MAC: Mines and Communities

More "accidents" at Vedanta's Indian copper smelter

Published by MAC on 2011-11-21
Source: Sipcot Area Community Environmental Monitors

Dangerous plant continues operating despite High Court order

It should have been shut down nearly a year ago.

But, despite an order by the Madras High Court, UK-listed Vedanta Resources has been allowed to continue operating its highly-polluting Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) copper smelter in Tamil Nadu.

On 17 August 2011, according to information coming from within the plant, a 45-minute poisonous gas leak partially-suffocated some of its workforce.

See: Vedanta guilty of violations at Indian copper smelter

Apex court reserves order on Sterlite plant

Now - less than four months later (14 November 2011) -  a contract worker has died, and another was seriously injured,  after being sucked into a duct that should itself have been closed down.

Accident in Sterlite plant at Thoothukudi; one worker dead another critically injured

Sipcot Area Community Environmental Monitors

14 November 2011

Thoothukudi: 45 year old Pandian, a contract worker at Sterlite's Copper smelter in Thoothukudi, lost his life today after he was sucked into a duct line leading to a chimney of the phosphoric acid plant.

He was sent into the duct even as the suction devices were on contrary to safe operating procedures. Another staff worker was critically injured as he tried to save Pandian's life and was also sucked in the process. Pandian was a resident of a locality named 3 mile and was a contract worker under Chennai based contractor Promo Tech.

The factory, which was shut down by the Madras High Court due to violation of environmental law is currently functioning on a basis of relief granted by the Supreme Court of India.

Sterlite employee sucked into duct, dies

Suresh Kumar

Times of India

15 November 2011

Tuticorin: A 45-year-old contract employee of Sterlite Industries India Limited at Tuticorin in Southern Tamil Nadu was killed in an industrial accident inside the plant in the wee hours of Monday.

A senior official of Sterlite said that the man was sucked into a huge duct conducting gaseous silicic acid that led to his death.

The duct was about three feet in diameter. Besides inhaling the gas, he had also suffered injuries on the head while being sucked in. Another employee was also partially sucked into the duct but managed to escape with minor injuries.

There are about 1000 employees on roll, besides 1500 contract employees working in the Sterlite unit. Officials of Sterlite held talks with the family members of victim S Pandian (45), a contract employee from Indira Nagar and agreed to pay an undisclosed compensation.

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