India, Maharashtra

Latur factory mishap: Death toll rises to nine; probe on

Four persons were arrested on Tuesday in relation to the mishap at an oil mill in Maharashtra’s Latur district. The death toll in the incident that took place on Monday has climbed to nine with two more bodies being recovered from a tank in the plant.

The State Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar examined the accident site on Monday night. Patil said the mill would be shut down and they were trying to identify if a case under IPC section 302 (murder) could be filed.

Four persons were detained including Kirti Oil Mill’s owner Kirti Bhutada, said Latur Police. Sadly, seven workers lost their lives on Monday after inhaling toxic gas while cleaning a tank at the mill. Later two more bodies were recovered from the tank, said a fire brigade official.

Reportedly, the fire brigade operation was called off at 3 am after recovery of the last body on Tuesday.

Some workers had fallen unconscious while cleaning the tank at the factory in Latur MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) on Monday. A few others also climbed down into the tank to see them but did not return. They died after inhaling poisonous gas, said the official.

However, one worker, who was rescued in an unconscious state, is undergoing treatment. An investigation has been started into the incident.

The deceased have been identified as Dagdu Pawar, Baliram Pawar, Narendra Tekale, R D Shinde, Maroti Gaikwad, Rambhau Yerme, Akash Bhute, Parmeshwar Birajdar and Atkare Shivaji. The mill’s director, Ashok Bhutada, said the reason of the mishap could only be provided following the investigation.

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