A day after the explosion at the IISc's Aerospace Engineering Department’s Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research in Bengaluru, the police have booked two professors for criminal negligence.
On Thursday, the security chief of IISc, Chandrashekhar, filed a complaint with the Sadashivnagar Police against professors G Jagadeesh and KPJ Reddy, claiming that they were in charge of the lab and were responsible for ensuring that the equipment being used was safe.
"The family members complained that the institute should have ensured that experiments were being conducted in a safe environment. He (Chandrashekhar) has also stated that several faculty members were of the opinion that the expansion of gases in the cylinder caused the blast. The two professors were supposed to ensure that such incidents do not happen. There was also evidence of breach of security protocol while handling the equipment," the Sadashivnagar Police said.
Professors Jagadeesh and Reddy have been booked under 304A (causing death by negligence) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.
32-year-old research intern Manoj Kumar died in the gas explosion at the IISc laboratory on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the three other victims; Karthik Shenoy, Naresh Kumar and Athulya Uday Kumar, are in a critical condition and are undergoing treatment at MS Ramaiah Hospital. Officials with the hospital said that Naresh Kumar is on the ventilator. "He is stable right now but the next few days are crucial for his recovery. Another patient Athulya has facial injuries. He is stable right now and is also conscious. Karthik Shenoy is also on ventilator and his condition is critical," hospital officials said.
According to the police, four interns, who were M.Tech students, were conducting an experiment in the lab when the incident occurred. The four men, interning with Superwave Technology Private Limited, were handling pressurised hydrogen, oxygen, helium and nitrogen gases.
The victim, Manoj Kumar, a native of Mysuru’s Kollegal area, was standing close to the hydrogen cylinder, which is said to have burst. He died immediately due to the impact. His co-workers - Karthik Shenoy, Naresh Kumar and Athulya Uday Kumar - were grievously injured and were rushed to MS Ramaiah Hospital.
IISc on Friday released ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to wife of Mr Manoj. A team from the institute headed by the Director - Prof Anurad Kumar visited the MS Ramaiah Hospital on Friday, where the injured vitims are undergoing treatment. The Director has assured the relatives of the injured that IISc would cover the medical expenses.