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Pti

Three persons were killed and 44 others suffered injuries in a fire that broke out in the Haldia Refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district on Tuesday, police said.

The IOC in a statement said the incident occurred at a unit of the refinery during shutdown related works.

"The primary cause seems to be a flash fire leading to burn injuries to 44 persons and 3 persons have unfortunately succumbed to their injuries," it said.

The fire has been extinguished and the situation is under control, the IOC said.

Out of the 44 injured, 37 are being brought to a Kolkata hospital via a 'green corridor' specially set up for the purpose, a senior police officer of Purba Medinipur district told PTI. The condition of seven of them is stated to be critical.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed anguish at the death of three persons in the refinery fire.

"Three precious lives were lost and my thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. Those injured are being brought to Kolkata through a green corridor. GoWB will extend all assistance to ensure their speedy recovery," she tweeted.

Haldia Refinery is undertaking shutdown and maintenance of various major units and the fire broke out at around 3 pm at the motor spirit quality (MSQ) unit.

After preliminary first aid to the 47 injured people at the first aid centre, they were shifted to Haldia Refinery Hospital where three of them died.

"Authorities are inquiring into the cause of the incident," the company said.

The matter is being looked into, the police officer said.

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