Seven workers of an edible oil packaging factory in a village near here were asphyxiated on Thursday when they got into an oil tank to clean it, district officials said.
The incident occurred at G Ragampet at around 8.30am when one of the labourers was cleaning the tank where the oil was stored.
He accidentally slipped and fell into it. In order to save him, six more people entered the tank and were asphyxiated.
Five of the workers were from Paderu and two from Peddapuram, police said.
The factory has been sealed and a case registered against it under Section 304-A (death due to negligence) of the IPC, Kakinada District Collector Krithika Shukla told media.
She said a four-member committee headed by a Joint Collector has been constituted to conduct an inquiry into the mishap and submit a report within three days.
The panel is currently going through the documents and the approval the factory had for running the oil packaging facility. Strict action would be initiated against those responsible for the lapses, officials said.
An ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh has been announced by the state government for the kin of the victims while the factory had also been ordered to provide compensation, an official release said.
Post-mortem was under way and it would ascertain the cause of deaths, officials said.
Families of the victims alleged that the factory management did not provide proper security gear to the workers.