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9 people killed in fiery blast at central India steel plant

Explosion was sparked by a fire in a gas pipeline in a coke oven battery complex during scheduled maintenance.


NEW DELHI—Nine people have died in a fiery explosion at a steel plant in central India.

The state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited says in a statement that Tuesday morning’s explosion at the SAIL Bhilai Steel Plant was sparked by a fire in a gas pipeline in a coke oven battery complex during scheduled maintenance.

According to the statement, some of the injured sustained burns and were rushed to a local hospital. Fourteen people remain hospitalized.

It was not immediately clear whether the plant had been evacuated. The steel authority said the fire was under control.

Spokesman Mahesh Chandra Agrawal declined to provide additional details.

The Bhilai plant, some 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the Chhattisgarh state capital of Raipur, makes train tracks for the government-run India Railways system.

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