Bengaluru: Raising major concerns over safety at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc), a hydrogen cylinder exploded Wednesday afternoon at the top ranking institute in the country, instantly killing a senior engineer and grievously injuring three of his colleagues, with one of them reported to be critical.
A post graduate engineer, Manoj Kumar, 30, died on the spot while three of his colleagues - 24-year-old Athulya Uday Kumar, 33-year-old Naresh Kumar, and 25-year-old Karthik Shenoy. - who all work for a start-up, Super-Wave Technology Pvt Ltd that was launched in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), were critically injured in the blast that destroyed the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research (LHSR). All three were rushed to M S Ramaiah hospital.
The shock waves from the high intensity explosion that dismembered Manoj Kumar caused extensive damage to the Aerospace Engineering department's LHSR complex, with the ear-splitting blast that ripped through the Aerospace Engineering department and Physics department next door, shattering window panes of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the neighbouring complex. The incident happened at around 2.20 pm.
Eye witnesses said one arm of Manoj Kumar and raw flesh were strewn outside the laboratory in an indication of the extreme force engendered by the explosion. There was no sign of a fire inside the laboratory or outside.
Sources in IISc said Manoj Kumar, hailing from Kollegal in Chamaraja nagar district, was hurled against the wall and died instantaneously while his colleagues Athulya Kumar, Naresh Kumar and Karthik Shenoy were injured in the pelvic region and subsequently operated upon at M S Ramaiah Memorial Hospital. Authorities of IISc and forensic experts found shards of the cylinder but have not yet ascertained the reason behind the explosion. "Our building shook for a couple of seconds, and we felt like we were hit by an earthquake," said a staff of Aerospace Engineering department, adding that "
Manoj Kumar and the others were very sincere and soft spoken."
Hospital sources said Athulya was brought in with multiple facial wounds and an open wound over his left shoulder and back. While Naresh has a bilateral puncture wound over his chest, a right arm open wound which could be a fracture and possibly an abdominal injury, Karthik had a large lacerationwound over right flank and left buttock, the right side of his face showed skin loss with multiple lacerations, and an inhalational injury is also suspected along with foreign body (Splinter) in caecum revealed after his abdomen's CT, doctors at the hospital said....