Nagpur: Even as the workers at Nitika Pharmaceuticals are yet to settle over the shock of tragedy which killed their two co-workers, it turned out that the tragedy happened due to the wrong orders passed by factory management. It is learnt that the wood-fired boilder which exploded on Friday, was suddenly raised to 200 degrees despite knowing the fact that it takes several days to reach that temperature.
Alleging this fact a labourer who survived the incident sheer negligence of senior officials for the accident. He said, “Two days before the incident, the boiler had been taken up for cleaning. After the cleaning, it takes several days for the boiler to gradually reach a temperature of 300 degree, which is the temperature maintained to keep it stable. However, on the command of high-ranking officers of the Pharmaceutical, the boiler was directed to hit 200 degree right on the first day.”All the labourers working inside the factory could sense the risk, but their complaints were rejected by the higher authorities, he said.
Raut added, “On the night of the incident, I had just reached the factory to attend the night shift when the FBD, containing hot raw material, connected to the boiler exploded. The machine was at the rear end , and I was at front side of the building, wearing my uniform. The temperature became unbearable inside the building. I was feeling like I was on fire.”
“My vision was burred and I couldn’t think of anything but getting myself out of the building. I immediately covered my face with my palm and ran towards the front gate. I was the first one to get out of the disaster. Fortunately, I was wearing my uniform at that moment, which protected my body to a large extent. Also, I was in the front side of the building, so I escaped easily,” he said.
It was a nightmare for the people in the middle part of the building. Most of them were not wearing the uniform. While they were running towards the front side, the boiler suddenly exploded, raining down burning wood upon them. Many were seriously injured, while their way to the gate was also blocked. It took another 15 minutes for all the workers to escape the building, Raut added.
Raut said, “We all waited outside the front gate till everyone came out. The crowd drawn to the scene by the noise of the explosion called an ambulance, which took us to Indira Gandhi Government Medical College.”
He lamented, “None of us would have seen this day, had the company used the machines rationally. Our labour union had submitted memos to the manager and vice president many times but no action was taken.” Raut revealed that the factory had caught fire thrice earlier, but the company did not even call the firemen. The labourers took it upon ourselves to douse the fire, he added.
He later said, “The factory is nothing but a money making venture, where the owner couldn’t care less about our safety. The gloves used by us should be changed every other day, but the management forces us to use the same ones for at least 15 days or until a pair gets torn .”