At least six persons were on Thursday killed and several others injured, some of them seriously, when a boiler exploded at a sugar mill in Gopalganj district of Bihar, a top police official said here.
Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) SK Singhal said that among the injured, the condition of three has deteriorated.
Two of them have been referred to Gorakhpur and one to Kushinagar in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh for treatment, he said.
“The number of persons killed in the boiler explosion at Sasa Musa sugar mill in Gopalganj has reached six. Five workers had died on the spot and another succumbed to burn injuries while being taken to a hospital,” Singhal told reporters.
Three persons, with minor injuries, are being treated at a hospital in Gopalganj.
Singhal also said that Mehboob Ali, owner of the sugar mill where angry workers set fire to vehicles after the explosion, has been arrested along with his two sons and the situation there has been brought under control.
The workers had alleged that the boiler was in a state of disrepair and blamed the incident on the owner’s negligence.
Taking a serious note of the incident, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and also dispatched teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) to the site for carrying out relief work.
The chief minister also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident, directing principal secretary, sugarcane industries, S Siddharth and principal secretary, labour, Deepak Kumar Singh to personally visit the site of the incident and carry out an investigation.
In a statement, Governor Satyapal Mallik also expressed grief over the incident and condoled the deaths and hoped for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Meanwhile, Ali and his two sons have been kept at their house after their arrest due to security reasons, a report from Gopalganj quoted Superintendent of Police Mrityunjay Kumar as saying.
The report also said that Ali has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and promised to employ one person from the family of each who lost their lives in the explosion.