Hazira IOC fire: Four get bail

Four IOC Hazira employees, including three officers, out of five arrested in connection with a major fire in the plant were released on bail on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the family members of three victims met Surat district collectorate officials for early release of the compensation amount worth Rs 5 lakh, announced by Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily during his visit to the plant on the next day of the fire incident.

Three wielders had died due to severe burn injuries and two others gone missing in the fire which broke out in the IOC petrol tank number 4 on January 5. After the fire incident, the IOC authorities had suspended its three engineers and two security officials employed in the Hazira plant.

Surat police had arrested five persons including three engineers Prashant Pandey, Anurag Chandak and Khomesh Dengre, and two security officials Birendrasingh Yadav, and Jaspalsingh Gajrajsingh, in this connection.

During the bail application hearing in the session court in Surat, the defense lawyer D C Javeri argued that the three engineers were not present at the site when the fire incident had occurred.

After going through the arguments made by the defense lawyer, the session judge granted bail of three and a security officer, while bail of another security officer Jaspalsingh was rejected.

However, the family members of the three victims are still awaiting the compensation amount. Jalandhar Chaudhary's wife Swati said, "We have not got the amount till now and we are waiting for it as I have to take care of my five children. At present, I am managing with what we have saved but it would be difficult for us to survive if we don't get the compensation amount soon."

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