A fire disaster occurred in Vishweshwaraiah Iron Steel Limited (VISL), Bhadravathi, India on 30 July 2003. The steel converter containing 24,000 kg of liquid metal (pig iron) at very high temperature exploded. A total of 30 workers became victims. Seven persons died on the spot. Twenty-three victims were transferred to the VISL hospital; of these, six were transferred to the burns unit of the Kasturba Hospital, Manipal (180 km from VISL). All six treated at the burns unit suffered 3-65% total body surface area (TBSA) burn, two had external injuries and two had eye involvement. Out of the six patients admitted at the burns unit, two expired (one due to refractory shock and another due to pulmonary embolism). Out of four survivors, one underwent tangential excision; another underwent operation for removal of foreign body from both soles and the remaining two were managed conservatively. Of the four survivors, two who had eye injuries, one developed minute corneal opacities within 2 months. The total duration of hospital stay of survivors at the burns unit varied from 8 to 43 days. All the victims were counselled by VISL psychiatrists before resuming their duties. Except the one who developed mixed anxiety-depression disorder, all survivors returned to work. The article describes the mechanism of the incident, injuries sustained and suggestions in relation to future safety measures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine