Seven people were killed and many others were seriously injured after boilers at a noodle-making factory in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district exploded on Sunday, 26 December.
The blast, that took place at around 10 pm on Sunday, was loud enough to be heard 5 kms away. The factory is located in the Bela Industrial area of Muzaffarpur.
Sanjiv Kumar, Vishal Kumar, Kundan Kumar, Om Prakash, Vivek Kumar Sada, and Satyam Kumar are reported to be dead in the incident.
While 6 other are critical and under treatment at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, the hospital administration has discharged 4 others after preliminary treatment.
Blast Probably Due to Misoperation, Probe Ordered
"Prima facie, the incident took place due to misoperation. We have ordered a probe, can't say anything substantive until it's done," Bihar Minister Jivesh Mishra told reporters on Sunday.
State minister Ramsurat Rai said that a high-level inquiry will be conducted in the matter, news agency ANI reported.
"We need to find out why the factory was operational on a Sunday. A government certificate was given for operation of the boiler in May," Rai added.
Meanwhile, Bihar Minister of Industries Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters:
"We have been facilitating every possible medical help to victims who are injured in this explosion. The officials are also taking care of the families who lost their loved ones."
FIR Registered Against Seven Including Company Owner
Giving information on the matter, SP Jayant Kant said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed and the entire matter will be investigated.
Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered in Bela police station against seven people including the factory's owner Vikas Modi, under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire), and 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery).
Sections of the Indian Boilers Act, 1923 may also be added.
Others included in the FIR are factory director Vikas Modi's wife Sweta Modi, manager Uday Shankar, boiler supervisor, operator, and others responsible.
PM Modi Offers Condolences, Compensation Announced
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced ex-gratia amount of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the deceased in the tragedy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved an ex gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh to be paid to the kin of the victims, while Rs 50,000 will be paid to each of the injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
"The accident in a factory in Muzaffarpur, Bihar is very sad. I express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. Also I wish the injured a speedy recovery," he tweeted in Hindi.