Gopalganj: At least seven persons, maybe even as many as ten going by some reports, were killed and scores injured when a boiler exploded at a sugar mill in Gopalganj district on late Wednesday night.
The accident took place around 11:30 pm when more than a hundred workers were inside the plant, sources said.
As reported, more than a dozen people were working close to the faulty boiler at the Sasa Musa Sugar Mill when it exploded like a powerful bomb. Four persons were killed instantly while three other died while being transported to nearby hospitals. Unconfirmed reports said three other died while being brought to Patna via Hajipur when their ambulance got stuck in the Bihar Bandh protest jam on Gandhi Setu.
Injured victims were transported to various hospitals in the area where they were being treated for first to third degree burns.
Angry mill workers and their family members then went on a rampage destroying factory properties and setting the mill owner's car or fire. A number of trucks operated by the factory were also torched as victims' family members demanded compensation for their loss and jobs for the relatives of the deceased.
The protestors also blamed the owners for poor upkeep of the factory saying they were warned of the faulty machinery nearly two weeks ago but they chose to ignore it.
Mahmood Ali, the owner of the mill, denied accusations of poor maintenance saying there was no negligence on their part while welcoming a full enquiry into the accident.
The owner also announced a compensation of Rs. 10-lakh along with a job to the kin of those who perished in the accident and Rs. 5-lakh to those who were injured in the tragedy. He, however, rued that it would take some time for the mill to start operating again since a number of their vehicles and factory machines were damaged by the irate protestors.
Ali and his son were taken into police custody for further interrogation.
Meanwhile, expressing his grief over the accident, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a package of Rs. 4-lakh to the family members of the victims who died in the last night explosion and Rs. 50,000 to those who received serious injuries.
The state government also ordered a high-level probe in the accident saying those found guilty of negligence will be severely punished under the law.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS