Two labourers were killed and eight hospitalised on Monday after a poisonous gas leak at a chemical factory in Humnabad industrial area in Bidar district, officials said.
The deceased have been identified as 21-year-old Mohammed Shabad, a resident of Vaddana Kere village in in Humnabad, and 23-year-old Indrajeet from Madhya Pradesh. The deceased were working inside the factory at the time of the incident, officials said.
“The tragedy occurred at Prasanna Pre-processing Ltd in the industrial area, where 23-year-old Indrajeet from Madhya Pradesh and 21-year-old Mohammed Shabad from Vaddankera village in Humnabad lost their lives. Additionally, eight other workers fell ill due to inhaling of the chemical air and have been admitted to a government hospital in Humnabad,” said Bidar superintendent of police Channabasanna SL.
The company, specialising in the storage and processing of chemical waste from industrial plants in the area, came under scrutiny from officials. Preliminary assessments by the Inspector of Factories and Boilers and a Karnataka Pollution Control Board officer suggest that the cause of death may be attributed to the toxic fumes emanating from hazardous chemical waste.
Bidar Deputy Commissioner Govind Reddy sought to reassure the public that the chemical gas had not spread to nearby areas. “The exact cause of death will be ascertained only after an investigation by officers of the Factories and Boilers and Pollution Control Board,” he said.
However, the incident drew a large crowd of locals, prompting the deployment of additional police forces to maintain order and prevent any untoward incidents.
Humnabad MLA Siddalingappa Patil and MLC Bhimrao Patil visited the affected workers at the hospital, pledging to cover all medical expenses for the victims. They also urged the government to provide financial compensation to the families of the deceased and those who fell ill. MLA Patil said, “I’ll appeal to the government to grant financial compensation to the deceased and the affected workers. We also request the factory owners to offer substantial compensation.”
Deputy Commissioner Reddy instructed the factory owners to facilitate the transportation of the deceased workers’ bodies to their villages.SP Channabasavanna said, “Humanabad police have registered an FIR under 304-A case (death due to negligence) of the IPC against the owner of the factory.”