State-run SAIL is one of India’s biggest steel producers, and the blast occurred at its Bhilai plant. The company said an “incident” had taken place at the factory but had no details on casualties. There was no immediate comment from the company on whether production was affected.
“It is not clear how many more could have died, we are recovering more bodies. It is very difficult to say how many more have died, as some bodies are charred,” the police official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media, told Reuters.
Shares of SAIL fell as much as 4.2 percent to a near one-year low on the news.
Bhilai Steel Plant is India’s sole producer and supplier of rails for Indian Railways, and a major producer of a large variety of wide and heavy steel plates and structural steel, according to the company’s website.
The plant has annual steel production capacity of 3.153 million tonnes, with products including wire rods, according to SAIL.