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Death toll rises to 11

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The death toll in the HPCL blast rose to 11, with two more injured workmen, M Thota Rao (44) and K Shankara Rao (40), both contract workers,...

Compensation disbursed

Visakhapatnam: The death toll in the HPCL blast rose to 11, with two more injured workmen, M Thota Rao (44) and K Shankara Rao (40), both contract workers, succumbing to injuries at a city hospital on Tuesday. They had suffered nearly 90 percent burns.

Four more workmen - Md Eliaz, Sambu Manna, S Somaiah, and T Sreenu were airlifted to Mumbai on Tuesday for better medical care. Meanwhile, Visakha Refinery Executive Director VVR Narasimham and Director (Refineries) BK Namdeo from Mumbai said that a forensic team from Hyderabad had picked up some evidences from the blast site and had given the green light to clear the debris. The debris would be cleared soon, they said.

Ian Thorpe from the United Kingdom, an expert in refinery-related fire mishaps, was specially flown in on Tuesday for ascertaining facts and determining the causes for the blast, which brought down the wooden cooling tower, Narasimham said. A detailed probe would be conducted into all aspects of the mishap, he said.

The refinery was expected to resume its full capacity of production in 10 days, they said. The HPCL management on Tuesday disbursed the compensation amount to the bereaved families. A sum of Rs 1 crore was deposited in the account of the wife of Murali, an employee of the company who was killed in the blast. Besides, the company handed over a cheque for Rs 2 crore to the District Collector towards payment of compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of each of the 10 contract workers killed in the mishap.

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