One worker died and two others were critically injured in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, after they inhaled poisonous fumes that reportedly leaked out from a drug manufacturing unit in the city's Parwada area.
The incident took place at Vijayasri Organics, located in Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City on Wednesday night.
The police said that the deceased, identified as 32-year-old Sridhar, and two others, Chandrasekhar and Appa Rao, were working as operators in the unit and were working inside a production block when poisonous gas leaked out.
While Chandrasekhar and Appa Rao are presently on ventilator support, two others were also treated but their condition is stable.
Deputy chief inspector of factories KBS Prasad told media outlets that they visited the spot when they were informed about the fumes and added that they would initiate an inquiry into the matter soon.
He added that the incident might have taken place when the workers were adding a solvent to a reactor, which may have led to fumes.
A police case is yet to be registered and further enquiry is underway.
Workers of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) also staged a protest alleging negligence on the part of the company, claiming that they did not provide proper protective gear to the workers.
Members of the CPI(M) also joined the protest, demanding strict action against the management. CITU leader Koteswara Rao demanded ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakh for the deceased worker's family. They also said that the company must pay for the medical treatment of the other workers, who had been injured in the mishap.
This is not the first mishap to take place in the area, as two people were killed and several others were injured after a reactor of a pharmaceutical unit exploded in 2017. The incident had taken place when a cleaning operation was ongoing at Azico Biophore where a highly inflammable solvent was being used, to clean a new reactor.