Killer chlorine

Death in Sirpur Paper Mills

Published: Wednesday 15 December 2004

One worker was killed and four others were critically injured due to chlorine gas leakage in the Sirpur Paper Mills in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district recently. The accident was attributed to a malfunctioning valve. The victim, who was working about 50 metres away from a leaking cylinder, was apparently overpowered by the smell and could not escape due to panic.

"Safety audits are conducted on a regular basis and all possible precautions are taken to prevent such incidents. We plan to increase safety awareness among our employees," said S K Khare, executive director of Sirpur Paper Mills. "The issue has also been taken up with the manufacturers of the chlorine cylinders procured by the mill," he added.

The use of chlorine, the most common bleaching agent in the Indian paper industry, has been recognised as a major health and safety hazard. Many paper mills have onsite and offsite disaster management plans to prevent accidents due to chlorine leakage. But leakages continue to haunt the industry.

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