A view of Porus Labs site after an explosion occured at the plant in Akkireddygudem of Eluru district in the late hours on Wednesday. (Photo: By Arrangement)
VIJAYAWADA: Tension mounted around Porus Laboratories at Akkireddygudem village in Nuzvid assembly constituency of Eluru district, with large number of villagers agitating vociferously demanding immediate closure of the industry after a blast in its reactor killed six and injured 12 on Thursday.
Irate villagers refused to accept 25 lakh ex-gratia announced by the firm for kin of the deceased. A villager said, "We don’t want the ex-gratia. Instead, we will give 25 lakh announced by the state government to the firm. The firm can take 50 lakh for each death and leave our village, so that we can live in peace."
Another villager said, "I am unable to identify the dead as some of them are burnt beyond recognition. We will not allow this firm in our village any longer." Villagers pointed out that the factory handles hazardous chemicals and gases, polluting air and water of the village and making them ill. Now, it has gone on to take six lives.
Police had tough time controlling the villagers, particularly youngsters among them, who raised slogans that the company be closed immediately.
Sensing the delicate situation, Eluru district administration ordered temporary closure of Porus Laboratories pending an inquiry. A case has been booked against the firm. Of the 12 persons injured, seven are from Bihar while five are from AP. Porus management assured that it will ensure medical treatment for injured and pay their wages until they fully recover.
Eluru collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh said, "We have ordered closure of Porus Labs pending a probe involving experts. Based on the inquiry report, we will take action against the firm. At present, death toll in the mishap is six."
Meanwhile, former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock on Thursday over death of six persons in the reactor blast, which injured 12 others. He demanded that government provide all necessary medical treatment and save lives of the injured.
In a statement, the TD chief demanded stringent action against those responsible for the mishap. Management of factories should not compromise on safety aspects of workers, he maintained.
The former CM asked state government to initiate necessary steps for ensuring safety of workers in all industries. Inspections should be stepped in factories to check any possible lapses in preventive measures, he added.