Ramakanta Biswas

Balasore: Police on Thursday arrested seven officials of Falcon Marine Exports in connection with reported leakage of chlorine gas in its prawn processing factory located in Khantapada area of Balasore that left as many as 88 woman workers mostly women sick last night.

The general manager, production manager, HR manager, two supervisors, shift in-charge and safety manager of the factory have been arrested after interrogation, police said.

The factory has been sealed following the mishap and a case has been registered at Khantapada police station in this regard.

Meanwhile, a six-member forensic team from Bhubaneswar have begun probe into the gas leakage incident.

"How are such sensitive things getting government's permission without proper investigation? Who is behind this?," BJP leader Madan Mohan Dutta questioned demanding a probe into the incident.

Coming down heavily on the ruling-BJD, Congress MLA Adhiraj Panigrahi alleged that the government is playing with the life of people.

Responding to the allegations, BJD MLA Ananta Das said action against the owner of the factory can only be taken after investigation, provided he is found guilty.

Earlier Labour Minister Sushant Singh said that Labour Commissioner will investigate the incident and find out whether children were working in the factory. He also assured that stern action will be taken against those responsible for the accident.

Notably, as many as 88 workers were hospitalised after alleged leakage of gas in the factory last night. The woman workers were busy in their work when they complained of uneasiness and difficulty in breathing. The company authorities immediately rushed the affected women to Khantapada CHC from where they were shifted to Balasore district headquarters hospital.