Blast Kills Three at Coke Bottler in India
An explosion at an Indian Coca-Cola bottling plant killed three workers
in the Eastern state of Orissa on Friday.
Three employees of a boiler services firm, Steamax Fuel Supplier,
were killed and five others were injured Friday by boiler explosion
at the Khurda plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd.
Local police detained three officials from the bottler for questioning
and then released them over the weekend. They are investigating the
cause of the explosion.
"The boiler was in good working condition and was last inspected and
approved by the Directorate of Factories and Boilers in December 2009,"
according to a news release from Hindustan Coca-Cola. "The plant has
been closed since the date of the accident in order to conduct a thorough
investigation into the cause."
Coca-Cola has become the target of anti-globalization and pro-environment
groups, which have accused its bottling factories of everything from
hogging much-needed ground water to pollution.
Meanwhile, India recently has become more sensitive to damage done
by foreign factories.
Last week, India approved measures to raise compensation for victims
of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, pursue an acknowledgment of liability
from Dow Chemical Co. and pressure the U.S. to extradite former Union
Carbide India Ltd. Chairman Warren Anderson.
The government's move was in response to political pressure from victims
and the Indian media after a much-delayed verdict earlier this month
sentenced seven former officials of Union Carbide to only two years
imprisonment for causing the death and suffering of thousands. The
verdict, 26 years after the tragedy, was criticized as being too weak,
and has led to a re-examination of the liability of foreign companies
that operate in India, among other issues.
The perceived failure of justice has rankled citizens in India recently
as the U.S. has been able to get BP PLC to pledge more than $20 billion
for the damages and clean up of the April 20 oil spill in the Gulf
—Arlene Chang contributed to this article.
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