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25 killed in BALCO mishap, CM orders judicial probe

Korba/Raipur, September 23, 2009: At least 25 workers were killed, 15 injured, and scored missing today as the Chimney of the Rs 4800 crore under construction power plant of BALCO collapsed in Korba of Chhattisgarh.

Within hours of the incident, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh taking the matter seriously asked the Korba SP to register a case against the BALCO management and also ordered for a Judicial inquiry in to the incident.

In a high power meeting at Raipur, the Chief Minister also decided to pay Rs one lakh to the families of the deceased, a top official told ChhattisgarhTopNews.Com.

Singh also directed the Korba District Administration to conduct the rescue and relief works in war footing.

Meanwhile, when contacted Public Relations Officer of BALCO V K Srivastava said in Korba he was not in a position to give the figure of death or injured in that incident.

However, Korba District Collector Ashok Agrawal said at least 25 bodies have been retrieved from the debris and many others are feared trapped in that of the 178 metre height Chimney of the 1200 MW power plant of the BALCO, which was totally collapsed.

Among the trapped people are the engineers from the construction company JDCL, BALCO officials said.

Meanwhile, angry workers assaulted one of the officials of the construction company to death after the structure was collapsed alleging that sub-standard materials were used in that.

Unconfirmed sources said at least 150 labourers were on their job when the incident took places and it was not clear about how many are missing and who have been killed.

"But is for sure that the death toll could be more," said BALCO insiders.

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