State gives compensation of Rs 2L each to family of dead and ` 50K for injured
Kolkata: Five people were killed and five others injured in a massive "blast" that took place in a plastic crusher unit at Sujapur in Malda on Thursday morning.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the "blast" was due to a snag developed in a heavy plastic processing machine at the unit. Though further inspection in this regard will be carried out, the possibility of bomb explosion at the factory has been completely ruled out.
The Mamata Banerjee government has given compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured persons. Officers at the state and district level have handed over compensations to the family members of the affected people by Thursday evening itself.
At the same time, no stone was left unturned by the state government in ensuring fast rescue work besides carrying out a detailed probe into the incident.
Being instructed by the Chief Minister, the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim rushed to Sujapur by helicopter and visited the site. Giving assurance of extending all support to family members of the affected people, Hakim said: "We stand beside people at the time of any distress. But there are some who keep searching for such opportunities to do politics. This is the reason behind demanding NIA probe into the incident when the police are performing its duty diligently."
It was sometime in between 11.30 am and 12 noon when local people heard a loud sound of explosion and felt tremor. They reached the spot to find a major portion of asbestos-roof of the factory blown off and the walls of three sides had collapsed. The incident took place when the employees were busy inside their work. The factory got engulfed in a massive fire soon after the blast took place. Local people initiated the work to douse the flames. They were later joined by the personnel of the state Fire and Emergency Services department.
Sources said that it was a 45-year-old machine and it had blown off after an electrical short circuit causing a deep hole on the floor.
A large contingent of people led by superintendent of police (SP) Alok Rajoria and District Magistrate (DM) Rajarshi Mitra went to the spot and rescued the people stuck inside the factory. Four died at the spot.
Six people were taken to Malda Medical College and Hospital with severe injuries. Later, one of them succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Five others are undergoing treatment.
Negating the attempt of connecting the incident with "illegal bomb making" from certain quarters, the state Home department tweeted that "the Malda Sujapur plastic factory accident today is related to manufacturing process issues and has got nothing to do with illegal bomb making, as suggested non-responsibly by some quarters. DM and SP on spot have been reporting to state officers after urgent inquiries and compensation steps have been taken. A senior Minister has flown to site and it is time to be factually correct. Government is helping the victims and their families."
Trinamool Congress leadership has criticised Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar stating that he is speaking at the tone of BJP leadership. Dhakhar tweeted: "Anguished at deaths in a reported blast that ripped the establishment apart at Sujapur area of Malda district. According to SP five killed and five injured. Time @MamataOfficial to proactively contain illegal bomb making and ensure professional non partisan investigations @WBPolice."
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said at Nabanna that SP and DM both are taking all necessary steps at the spot. The situation is also being monitored from Nabanna.
Rajoria said: "Preliminary investigation revealed that the explosion was due to a snag that was developed in a heavy machine. We are questioning other workers of the
factory and local people to get further information on the same."