At least one labourer died and 15 others were injured when a major fire broke out in the Bhushan Steel Plant in Dhenkanal district on Wednesday.

According to official sources, the fire broke out around 10 am following three consecutive blasts in the blast furnace of the second phase of the steel plant.

The blast furnace where the fire took place was in the process of commissioning for the past three days.

The major fire was brought under control by the Fire Department personnel by 2 pm. Unconfirmed reports, however, indicated that more than 20 labourers who were at work, were killed in the fire.

Deputy Director of Factories and Boilers Hruday Sahu said an inquiry had been ordered and the exact cause of the fire will be known once the investigation is complete.

Meanwhile, three staff members of the steel plant, including Chief Operating Officer Atulya Verma were arrested by Dhenkanal police in the evening.

Senior administration officials, including Dhenkanal Collector Roopa Roshan Sahoo, visited the site of the incident in the afternoon after the fire was brought under control.

There have been a number of tragic incidents in the private steel plant since work on the project started in 2005.