Indian biogas plant explosion kills four

Excess pressure is said to be the cause of the eruption which occurred on 26 August at the plant at Edathala.

At least three other persons were rescued from the site, with six workers believed to be trapped in the waste at one stage.

According to the officials, the biogas plant, which was being erected by a private firm, was nearing commission.

The plant was being set up to convert the garbage from local self- government bodies into biogas.

Police, the Fire and Rescue Services personnel, district administration and Health Department soon reached the site. But the rescue operations were delayed as the waste from the damaged plant was spread in the land around the plant site. Around eight fire mobile units of Aluva and nearby stations rushed to the location.

The rescue team had been flushing out the waste from the plant site using four JCB machines.

As the authorities are unaware of the total number of workers engaged in the construction of the biogas plant that exploded, Fire and Safety experts are of the opinion that such plants should have at least the minimum safety features and the workers at these plants should be given due training on safety aspects.

‘These plants should have mechanisms called Pressure Release Systems and Pressure Monitoring Systems. The workers should be trained to read these pressure meters before working in these plants,’ G Madhu, head, Fire and Safety Engineering Department, Cochin University of Science and Technology, suggests, adding that the authorities must provide proper safety gear to the workers engaged in the construction of these type of plants.

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