Three people were killed and at least 19 others were injured on Monday after a blast at a paper mill in the town of Malerkotla in Punjab. Eyewitness reports suggested that the blast was caused by a paper dryer exploding soon after work at the factory began, according to The Indian Express.
While seven critically injured factory workers of Vishal Paper Mill were sent to hospitals in Patiala and Ludhiana, the rest were sent to the Civil Hospital in Malerkotla. Police officials also confirmed the deaths of three workers. However, they claimed that none of those injured were ready to record a statement against the owners of the mill. “They are just saying that it all happened accidentally,” said Sanjiv Goyal, the Station House Officer at the Amargarh police station.
Acoording to Hindustan Times, the new dryer that was installed only last month was not checked for compatibility with the existing machines. The labour welfare department has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Goyal further said that the factory’s workers were conducting all its operations as its owner, Krishan Mohan Gupta, is currently abroad. Malerkotla Superintendent of Police Gurpreet Sikand later said that they will consider “taking cognisance of the matter” and filing a First Information Report in the case after conducting a thorough investigation into the blast.