Sterlite worker falls in empty acid tank; dies

Thoothukudi, 19th March, 2013 — One worker is reported to have died after falling into an empty Phosporic Acid Tank at Sterlite Industries’ copper smelter in Thoothukudi. Swaminathan, a contract worker with Inttec, was moved from his routine work in the Sulphuric Acid plant to the Phosporic Acid Plant, which was shut down at the time. The 50-year old worker who is specialised as a “grinder” (grinding freshly welded areas to smoothen them) was asked to work overtime as a helper for some works atop an empty phosporic acid plant. Working in a poorly lit area, Swaminathan reportedly tripped and fell into the empty tank at around 9 p.m. Other workers say he died on the spot. He was removed to AVM Hospital by 108 ambulance, and declared dead only at around 11 p.m.

This is the second accident at Sterlite in the last month. The company is currently operating on the basis of an interim injunction granted by the Supreme Court on a Madras High Court order shutting down the company.

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