BHUBANESWAR: Nine workers have been hospitalised after leakage of carbon monoxide gas from a blast furnace in the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) on Monday, people familiar with the matter said.

The carbon monoxide leak started when the nine workers were at the site to conduct repairs at the steel plant’s blast furnace number-5. (Representative Image) (X/sailrsp1)

Four of the nine persons are admitted to the intensive care unit.

The carbon monoxide leak started when the nine workers were at the site to conduct repairs at the steel plant’s blast furnace number-5. They were rushed to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) and a hospital outside the plant. Five of the nine persons are contract workers.

The plant’s labour union has alleged that the authorities have not taken any concrete steps to ensure the safety of the workers despite several gas leaks in the past. In January 2021, four workers engaged in maintenance work at the plant’s coal chemical department died due to a leakage of carbon monoxide.

There was no official statement by the plant on Monday’s accident.

RSP, founded in 1955, was India’s first integrated steel plant in the public sector, and has the capacity to annually produce 4.5 million tonnes of hot metal, 4.2 million tonnes of crude steel and 3.9 million tonnes of saleable steel.