One dead, three severely injured after explosion at Indian shock wave lab
|sciencemag.org 06 Dec 2018 at 14:33|
NEW DELHIThe explosion of a gas cylinder left one researcher dead and three others seriously injured yesterday in a shock wave lab at one of Indias premier research facilities. Its unclear what caused the blast, which took place at 2:20 p.m. local time at the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru.
The explosion shook the entire neighborhood, according to scientists from the nearby National Institute of Advanced Studies. Manoj Kumar, 32, an employee of a startup named Super-Wave Technology , died on the spot, IISc says. The three wounded were employees of the company as well. The startup was launched in 2016 by two faculty members of IIScs aerospace department.
IIScs shock wave lab opened half a century ago; it was upgraded in 2011 with funding from BrahMos Aerospace, a joint Indo-Russian venture that makes the worlds only supersonic cruise missile, called BrahMos. Researchers at the lab have developed several potential applications for shock waves, including the delivery of drugs and vaccines, artificial insemination of livestock, oil extraction, . The facility now houses four sophisticated shock wave tubes that can use liquid hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and helium to generate shock waves.
There was no fire, it was an explosion of a gas cylinder, IISc Director Anurag Kumar, an electrical engineer, tells
. Kumar declined to speculate on the cause of the accident and confirmed IISs is cooperating with a police investigation, while the institutes safety office is conducting its own audit. Students and researchers at IISc do not go through a mandatory safety training, Kumar says: It is left to individual professors to instruct the staff on safety as they are the most knowledgeable about the equipment they handle.