Five persons were killed and 15 others were injured in a massive explosion at a plastic product manufacturing unit in Sujapur area under Kaliachak Police station of Malda district on Thursday morning around 11 am, said the police.
The injured were taken to the Malda Medical College and Hospital. Prima facie, the police suspect that a machine inside the manufacturing unit exploded causing the blast, while the exact reason is yet to be ascertained.
Senior police officials of Malda district have reached the spot to ascertain what went wrong as investigations are underway. Fire tenders reached the spot to douze the flames and efforts are on to clear the debris as police suspect more people could be trapped within the debris.
Those who died were workers of the scrap factory. A major portion of the factory was ripped apart by the explosion.
Meanwhile, an ex gratia amount was announced by the State government of Rs 2 lakhs to the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those who are injured.
Besides, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakkim has reached Malda to take stock of the situation.
Furthermore, the West Bengal Home Department has ruled out illegal bomb-making in the factory as the reason behind the blast.
"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," the West Bengal Home Department said in a tweet.
"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," it added.