In a bizarre mix-up, three workers of Vikas Power Equipments Private Limited died after consuming a chemical which they thought was salt, in Chinhat late on Thursday night.
The condition of four other workers, admitted to KGMU’s trauma centre, was said to be critical.
Police said the workers, who cooked food on the company premises, ran out of salt and searched for it in a room that also stored painting material. There they found the chemical which looked exactly like salt. The chemical, which couldn't be immediately defined, was then mixed in the food (tehri) they had cooked.
Soon after consuming the food, the workers’ condition started deteriorating.
The company’s production engineer Saurabh Yadav informed the police about the incident and rushed the workers to a nearby hospital.
Two of them, Ayodhya and Satish, succumbed soon. Others were then referred to the trauma centre, where another worker Sudhir also died during the treatment. The doctors said the condition of four others was very critical.
Additional superintendent of police (trans-Gomti) Habibul Hasan said no FIR had been registered but police were probing the matter.
“Although cooking is banned on the campus, they still cooked here and paid with their lives,” said Manish Rai Chowdhary, owner of the company. However, Niranjan Prasad, father of Balwant (32) who is in trauma centre, said the workers, who also stayed inside the factory, got very little salary and had no option but to cook to save money.
The other workers undergoing treatment are Sandeep (25), Chandrasekhar (25) and Younus.