Cuddalore, 15 October 2005: Victory Chemicals paid a compensation of about Rs. 210,000 to the family of the worker who died in an accident inside the explosives manufacturing unit. According to community members, the company paid the money two weeks after the accident and in response to community pressure.
The accident took place on 5 October 2005 at about 9 pm in the night. According to sources, a boiler in the factory exploded injuring Mr. Kumar, a contract worker and a resident of Chinnapillaiyarmedu in SIPCOT area. He was immediately rushed to Krishna Hospital in Cuddalore and then shifted to JIPMER Hospital in Pondicherry where he succumbed to his injuries on the 6 October 2005 at about 6 am. Kumar was survived by his wife and two children.
The company also reported the accident to the Inspector of Factories as per the regulations of the Factories Act of 1948. SIPCOT industries usually cover up such accidents without reporting it to the authorities to avoid procedural investigation and possible prosecution. It is only after pressure from SACEM and community members that companies have begun reporting accidents.
Victory Chemicals is the company that in 2004 was caught in the act of dumping its Barium-rich hazardous wastes in a Cuddalore village. After action by SACEM, the company was forced to retrieve the wastes and store it in its premises.
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Explosion in Victory Chemicals factory leaves one worker dead