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At least nine people were killed after inhaling poisonous gas at an oil mill in western Indian state of Maharashtra, officials said on Tuesday.

The workers were cleaning a chemical tank of the oil mill at Latur industrial area, about 472 km east of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra.

“Nine workers were killed inside an oil mill here,” a police official posted in Latur said. “The incident occurred yesterday evening after which bodies of seven workers were taken out. Early today two more bodies were recovered from the tank.”

One worker, who was rescued in an unconscious state, was hospitalized at a nearest medical facility.

“He is undergoing treatment at Vivekanand hospital here,” the official said.

Police registered a case and ordered a probe into the mishap.

Witnesses told media they came to know about the incident when the workers did not came out for long and fellow workers who went to check on them too got stuck.

“Bodies were found stacked inside the tank,” a fire service official said. “Primarily it appears workers have died due to inhaling poisonous gas but exact reason will be known only after the post mortem of bodies is carried out.”

Police have arrested four persons including the owner of the mill in connection with the mishap.

Labor union leaders in India often accuse factories and mills of ignoring safety standards vis-a-vis workers. Endit


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