At least 15 workers were injured and several others had narrow escape when roof of a silo crumbled at an Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) plant at Paradip, about 120 kilometres from here on Monday.

The tragedy struck when workers were on duty during morning shift on Monday. The structure used for bulk materials caved in and in the process many workers got trapped under it. The structure was built with steel and asbestos.

Police sources said firemen immediately rushed to spot while personnel of the IFFCO's emergency wing were engaged in rescue operation. Injured workers were first admitted to local hospital and seriously injured were shifted to private hospitals in Cuttack.

Soon after the accident, workers trooped in from different facilities resulting in chaotic situation. District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police arrived on campus to take stock of the situation.

Outside the plant, a few vehicles were ransacked by the local people as they were prevented by security guards from entering the campus.

“All the workers are out of danger. Those who have suffered fracture have been admitted in hospital,” said V.B. Suri, vice-president (personnel) of IFFCO-Paradip.

Mr. Suri said, “after IFFCO took over the fertiliser unit from Oswal in 2005, all the structures had been reinforced. The silo was the only structure left to be reinforced. Now after the accident the mass stockyard would be rebuilt.”

Meanwhile, IFFCO authorities have announced closure of operation for next two days. Officials of the Director of Factories and Boilers would carry out site inspections to ascertain the reason behind the collapse of the structure. Besides, IFFCO, sources said, would conduct a separate inquiry.