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AP govt issues notice to Aurobindo for fire accident in its plant

A Raju, Hyderabad
Saturday, December 24, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Taking a serious cognizance with regard to rising safety issues in pharmaceutical companies, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued a notice to Aurobindo Pharma seeking explanation about the fire accident that took place in the manufacturing plant in Srikakulam district last month.

A senior officer from Directorate of Factories confirmed the issuance of the notice to the firm. As it is, over the past few days there have been rising incidents of fire accidents happening in the pharmaceutical companies. So far about 6 people have lost their lives in various incidents that have occurred recently. This has raised doubts among the government circles relating to the faulty safety measures being adopted in the pharmaceutical manufacturing plants across the state.

D Chandrasekhar Varma, joint chief inspector of Factories, said the incident occurred during a process involving a chemical called Trityl Perchlorate and samples of the chemical were sent for examination. “We have issued the notice to Aurobindo Pharma asking them as to what led to the accident. Based on their reply, there could be some investigation further. The whole process will be completed in three months,” Varma said.

When contacted with Balakishore, director of Factories, Andhra Pradesh, he said, “We are carrying out our regular safety checkups in all the factories. In spite of our reminders and notices most of the phamra industries are voilating the safety norms and resorting to decieving tactics. Manufacture of each product requires specific safety standards. They are taking permission for one product and manufacturing some other product. Adding to this, the factory owners are hiring unqualified and unskilled labourers having no formal training or skills, this is also one reasons for the cause of accidents as the employees are unaware of the hazards.”

The factories department has ordered the drug maker to suspend operations at the plant where the mishap took place. When contacted, a company spokesperson said the state government might have issued the notice as part of the “routine” process.

In the last month's accident, two persons were killed and one injured in a blast at the firm's Active Pharma Ingredients (API) manufacturing plant at Pydibhimavaram in Srikakulam district near Visakhapatnam. “The powder processing area is isolated from the intermediate block. There was no impact to the operations as well as to the assets,” Aurobindo Pharma had said in a statement, earlier.


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