HYDERABAD, India (AP) — An explosion in a state-owned steel plant in the
southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has killed at least 11 people,
police said Thursday.
At least 16 other workers suffered serious burns in the blast and a massive
fire that broke out late Wednesday in the plant in the coastal city of
Visakhapatnam, said Police Commissioner Purnachandra Rao.
The explosion occurred when workers were checking a newly installed oxygen
unit in the steel melting unit of the Vizag Steel plant.
Nearly 30 workers and top officials of the plant were inspecting the
equipment when the blast occurred.
Witnesses said the explosion was so powerful that cars parked outside the
unit were flung in the air.
The death toll was expected to rise because the condition of some of the
injured was critical, Rao said.
The 41-year-old Vizag Steel plant is one of India’s major steel producers.
The plant has been expanding over the past four years, with the addition of
new units that were expected to nearly double its current capacity of 3.5