Berhampur: Three persons,
including a woman were killed when a storage tank at a sugar
factory at Aska in Odisha`s Ganjam district blast causing
huge quantities of molasses to spill over, police said on Monday.
The mishap at Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Ltd
occurred last night and the thick spillage from the 2000 tonne
capacity molasses tank gushed into the nearby staff quarters
killing the three in their sleep.
The tank is over 50 years old and toxic gas in it
coupled with the force of the flow of the molasses was
suspected to be the cause of the deaths, the police said.
Besides the woman the other two killed were her ten
year-old grandson and an eight year-old boy.
Molasses, a left-over of the sugar industry, is the
main raw material for preparing rectified spirit and is in
high demand in manufacturing country liquor.
Angry locals shouting slogans put up a blockade by
placing the bodies on the road and burning tyres.
As a result traffic movement on Aska-Bhubaneswar and
The mill, one of the oldest cooperative sugar mills in
the state, was closed by the authorities for the day.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is campaigning at
Aska, Buguda and his assembly constituency Hinjili for the
ensuing panchayat elections in the state, cancelled his visit
in view of tension in the area following the incident.
Ganjam district collector Kishan Kumar said the chief
minister annnounced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh to the
next of kin of the victims.