South Asia News
Two killed in fire at Indian nuclear lab
Dec 30, 2009, 6:52 GMT
New Delhi - A fire in a laboratory inside India's Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai killed two people, news reports said Wednesday.
A spokesman at the facility on the outskirts of India's largest city said the centre's nuclear reactors were not damaged and there was no radioactive leak.
The blaze broke out in the chemical laboratory Tuesday evening and claimed the lives of two research fellows, the Times of India newspaper reported.
It took firefighters 45 minutes to bring under control the blaze, which could have resulted in a major disaster, police said.
There was no 'reactor, radioactivity or radiation' involved in the accident, Department of Atomic Energy spokesman SK Malhotra told reporters.
Police have launched investigations to determine the cause of the fire.
'It could be an accident or a short circuit,' senior police official Ritesh Kumar told the Hindustan Times newspaper.
He said the two scientists who were killed were conducting an experiment when the fire broke out. Their charred bodies were recovered from the scene.
The centre is one of India's premier nuclear research facilities. It has a number of reactors used for India's nuclear power and research programme.