BARC Fire Not Merely Accidental: Ex-Director

Former Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has said that the fire at the centre was not a mere accident and could be ‘some one’s’ way of checking preparedness of the nuclear centre in the backdrop of intelligence reports of a possible terror attack.

“It could be that someone is testing us (BARC) to know our preparedness and response to such incidents. We have been told by intelligence that BARC is one of targets for terror attacks,” AN Prasad, former Director, BARC, was quoted as saying by PTI.

Needless to add, two persons were killed in the fire that broke out on Wednesday at the high-security premises.

Prasad said that one could conjecture from media reports that someone is attempting to ascertain how vulnerable the centre is and that the security system of the centre should not be disclosed.

Hinting a foul play, he said that modular laboratory in BARC is not susceptible to such explosions because these labs don’t handle any hazardous chemicals.

“Modular laboratory does not handle any hazardous chemicals and yesterday’s fire and explosion which resulted in the death of two persons is a cause of great concern,” Prasad said.

He said that there is a Safety Committee for modular lab and they are supposed to go through all the laboratories housed there periodically and also review them.

The spectroscopy laboratory where the accident took place did not have any cylinders and it also does not store any hazardous chemicals to result in such explosion, he said.

Even if some inflammable chemicals are kept in the lab, it cannot cause death of people, he said, adding the incident should be taken as an indicator.

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