Start-up researcher dies in IISc lab blast

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Bengaluru, Dec 5 (IANS) A start-up research scholar died and three others were injured in a hydrogen cylinder blast at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Wednesday, police said.

Research scholar Manoj Kumar (32) succumbed to severe burns after a hydrogen cylinder exploded in the Institute’s aerospace department laboratory during an experiment, Additional Commissioner of Police B.K. Singh told reporters in Bengaluru.

Three of the victim’s injured colleagues were rushed to a private hospital.

“The incident occurred late in the afternoon in the department lab when the team was conducting an experiment in hypersonic and shock waves,” said Singh.

Police have registered a case against the state-run institute to ascertain the cause of the blast.

“We will investigate the case after interrogating the department’s faculty and those involved in the experiment to find out how the blast occurred,” added Singh.

In a statement later, the Institute clarified that the victim (Kumar) was an employee of a start-up, who was on an internship with the other three injured.

“A case of suspected blast of a cylinder was received from the laboratory of Hypersonics and Shockwaves Research in the aerospace department,” said the statement.

The three injured – Naresh Kumar, Athulya Uday Kumar and Karthik Shenoy — are also employees of the start-up Super-Wave Technology Ltd, incubated in the Innovation Centre of the Institute’s sprawling campus in the city’s northwest upscale suburb.

“An FIR has been registered with the local police station and an investigation is under way in the case,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the privately-run M.S. Ramaiah Hospital where the injured were admitted said in a statement that “all the three patients are critical and require surgical intervention and ICU care”.

According to the 5-year-old firm’s home page on its website, Super-Wave is involved in the manufacture of medical appliances and instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing, navigating and other purposes.



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