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General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Source: Daily Guide

11 Injured In Steel Factory Explosion

Eleven workers of Special Steel Limited, an Indian owned steel manufacturing company based in Tema yesterday sustained various degrees of injury in what some of the victims termed as an explosion.

Two of the victims are currently receiving treatment at the Narh-Bita Hospital in Tema where they were rushed to shortly after the explosion.

Another victim was later referred to the Tema General Hospital after it was detected that medics at the initial health facility could not treat him.

Eight workers of the company, who reportedly sustained minor injuries in the explosion, were said to have been treated at the emergency unit of Narh-Bita hospital and discharged based on the recommendation of medics at the hospital.

The victims, according to a source at the factory, were part of a ‘night shift’ that had arrived at the factory around 6:00pm on Thursday.

According to sources, they worked for close to about three and half hours before the incident.

The source alleged that the workers were working without protective gears, stressing that the incident could have been averted had an unnamed Indian, believed to be one of the supervisors at the factory, listened to the advice of the workers.

Narrating the incident to DAILY GUIDE, a worker, who pleaded anonymity, remarked that the explosion took place at the furnace department of Special Steel around 8:30 pm and criticized the Indian supervisor at that department for refusing to heed the advice of the workers.

The worker said “we melted certain quantity of iron at the furnace and were waiting to get them shaped into steel when one of our bosses came around and asked that we put more iron into the furnace. Looking at the quantity that had already been melted we kicked against and noted that putting more iron was going to be dangerous.”

“Few minutes after we did that we heard a loud sound which was followed by an explosion which subsequently injured some of us in the process. We were even lucky not to have sustained life-threatening injuries because we were not wearing protective gears”.

Medics at the health facilities refused to give details about the state of the victims and noted that they were focused on ensuring that the injured workers are treated and discharged.

When DAILY GUIDE contacted Chief Inspector Olivia Turkson, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Tema General hospital she said she was not aware of the incident and noted that her outfit will investigate the matter.

Last year, about 14 employees of another steel manufacturing company, Western Steel and Forging Limited were hit by a massive explosion at the factory at Kpone near Tema, which allegedly claimed one life.

The same company reportedly experienced another fatal industrial accident few days after the initial incident.

Workers at that factory sustained what could be described as life-threatening injuries.

Efforts by DAILY GUIDE to contact management members of Special Steel Limited to comment on the industrial accident proved futile.

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