26th April, 2002
Ministry of Defence


ACCIDENTAL FIRE IN HEMRL, PUNE COURT OF INQUIRY CONSTITUTED


A Court of Inquiry has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the accidental fire that broke out in the Solid Propellant Processing Facility of the High Energy Material Research Laboratory {HEMRL}, Pune yesterday afternoon. The accident resulted in the death of six individuals. The probable cause of death is due to high temperature and smoke suffocation. As per preliminary information, there has been no significant loss of the property and material and there was no explosion. All safety measures were in place. The well documented standard operating procedures for processing hazardous material are always strictly adhered to.

Two of the deceased Shri Kiran Vyas and Shri MM Bhalerao were Technical Officers A in HEMRL, The remaining four i.e. Shri Abhay More, Shri Sachin Varhadi, Shri Damu Sathe and Shri Ramesh Malpote were contract employees. A contractor employee, Shri Krishna Sathe, has suffered injuries and is presently undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of Sassoon General Hospital and has since been declared out of danger.

The Court of Inquiry is being headed by Dr SK Salwan, Director, Centre of Environment and Explosive Safety. The Court will submit its report within four days and also suggest remedial measures.

   
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