Five killed in boiler explosion at sugar mill in Bihar

Five people were killed and 10 others injured, two of them seriously, when a boiler exploded at a sugar mill in Gopalganj district early on Thursday.

After the explosion, angry workers set afire vehicles parked inside the premises of the Sasa Musa Sugar Mill, blaming the accident on the owner's "failure" to get the machinery repaired despite complaints, police said.

The owner has been arrested along with his two sons.

"Five bodies have been recovered from the site of the incident. Identity of one of the deceased could not be established," said Awadhesh Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of Kuchaykot police station.

"The deceased are Kripa Yadav, Kanhaiya Sharma and Vishwakarma Yadav - all residents of nearby Khajuri village - and Shamsuddin Ansari from Padrauna in Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of deceased and also dispatched teams of the National Disaster Relief Force and the State Disaster Relief Force to the site for carrying out relief work.

The chief minister also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. He directed 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.

The Kuchaykot SHO said out of the 10 people admitted to Gopalganj Sadar hospital with burns, the condition of two is critical and they have been sent to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).

According to Superintendent of Police, Gopalganj, Mrityunjay Kumar, the explosion took place around 2 am. He said rescue operations were disrupted as angry workers indulged in arson, setting fire to the vehicle of the mill owner and a tractor, both of which were parked inside the mill premises.

"The workers alleged that the boiler was in need of repair for long but the owner paid no heed. The owner, Mehmood Ali, and his two sons Rinky Ali and Siksy Ali have been arrested," the SP said.

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