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Number of accidental deaths in chemical industries down by 41 per cent

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, June 24: Number of deaths due to accidents in chemical industries have come down by nearly 41 per cent from 2015 to 2018, but the number of injured has significantly gone up, the Environment Ministry said.

The number injured has gone up from 192 in 2015-16 to 728 in 2017-18, the ministry said recently.

Number of accidental deaths in chemical industries down by 41 per cent

While the number of deaths due to chemical leakage or accidents in 2015-16 were 66, in 2016-17, there were 90 deaths. In 2017-18, they came down to 39, it said.

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The ministry said that the number of chemical industry accidents have also reduced by more than 50 per cent in 2017-18 compared to 2015-16.

While the number of accidents in 2015-16 were 64, in 2016-17 there were 57 accidents and in 2017-18 they came down to 31, it said.

"The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) compiles the chemical accident related data based on the inputs provided by the Chief Inspector of Factories (CIFs) of various state governments/union territories.

"Such accidents cause damage to environment as well as human life. The available data indicates a downward trend in occurrence of accidents as well as resulting deaths during last three years," the ministry said recently.

It said that according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the primary responsibility to deal with chemical accident related incidents rests with state governments and union territory administrations.

Laying down the responsibilities of the NDMA, the ministry said it regularly conducts mock exercises for various hazards, including chemical (industrial) disasters to sensitise the stakeholders regarding preventive and mitigation measures as well as test the efficacy of Disaster Management Plans.

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"Till date, 88 such mock exercises on chemical (industrial) have been conducted throughout the country," it said.

The ministry has notified Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 (MSIHC Rules, 1989) with the objective of preventing chemical accidents from industrial activities and mitigate associated impacts, it said.

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