Six migrant labourers were killed and two others had a narrow escape when a wall in a warehouse of an 'illegal' guar gum factory at Arya Nagar village, 10km from the city, collapsed on Monday.
The incident occurred around 1.30pm when eight labourers were filling up sacks of guar powder. "The wall collapsed when a labourer removed a sack placed against the wall," Ranjeet Singh, a labourer at the factory, said.
The deceased have been identified as Manoj Kumar, Chandan Singh, Ranbir Singh, Kashi Ram, Yogeshwar Kumar and Janardan Singh. All were from Dubahi village in Bihar's Khagaria district and aged between 25 and 30 years.
The police have registered a criminal case against factory owner Niranjan Kumar of Fatehabad's Ratia village under Section 304 (causing death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Nandison guar gum factory was constructed recently and not registered with the administration, the police have said. "The owner had not taken adequate safety measures. The wall was constructed without a proper foundation and it did not have support from side walls. As the sacks were placed against the wall, it was under strain. When some of the sacks were removed, the wall came crashing down," the police have said.
While five bodies were taken out in half-an-hour, the sixth was taken out after more than three hours. Barring some police officials, a rescue team was not presses into service.
Deputy superintendent of police Sidhartha Dhanda said the factory was illegal and the investigation was on.