Three employees died and two were injured at the Kolkata Leather Complex in the eastern fringes of the city when they inhaled toxic gases.
The mishap occurred on Monday morning when five labourers were cleaning a drain in plot 542, zone six of the factory. While the three had died on the spot, two were shifted to a local nursing home.
The deceased were identified as Ashoke Mondol (33), Amiya Pramanik (38), and Chandi Pramanik (50). The workers were all from neighboring areas.
“The workers were engaged in the cleaning job without masks,” said additional police superintendent, Avijit Sinha. Protective face masks are mandatory during certain hazardous processes.
Spread over nearly 5 square kilometers, the Kolkata Leather Complex, which includes tanneries and factories, was shifted away from the main city to keep pollution levels low following a Supreme Court order.
Kolkata accounts for more than 50% of the country’s leather exports.