Workers told the police that an ammonia cylinder exploded and fell on the chamber roof of the Sumitra Devi cold storage, as a result of which five workers were crushed under the huge machine on Sunday night in Hathras district's Sadabad town, 30 km from Agra.
The gas, fire brigade sources said, spread over two km affecting villagers and vehicle drivers on the road. Over 20 people had to be hospitalised as they complained of breathlessness and some fell unconscious. They have all been discharged.
Police said the cold storage is owned by Yogendra Gupta of Agra who was absconding.
The district horticulture officer of Aligarh, looking after Hathras also, registered a case against the owner and the manager.
Hathras police said the five workers who died were repairing and welding a chamber and a pipeline while emptying the storage tank.
Two people are receiving treatment at the Agra Medical College hospital, doctors said.
There are hundreds of cold storages in this potato belt of Agra region.
Agra: Two people were treated at a hospital in the Taj city after an ammonia gas leak at a cold storage near here killed five workers and destroyed potato crop around it two days ago. The facility's owner is absconding, police said on Tuesday.
First Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 13:08