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Families demand bodies of 4 workers killed in Kerala factory mishap

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 3:

Relatives of four workers from Odisha, who were killed following a fire mishap in a Kerala plywood factory, have alleged that the factory management is unwilling to hand over the bodies and insisting on cremating them there in its bid to suppress the matter.

They are now demanding the intervention of the state Labour and Home department to get back the bodies for cremation as per Hindu rites.

According to reports, four contract workers from Odisha who were employed with one Sipson Plywood factory, located in Kandantara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, had sustained severe burn injuries following a blast inside the heat chamber in the factory on April 16. They were admitted to a local health centre with third degree burns but succumbed to their injuries, one after another, over the next two weeks, allegedly because the factory authorities refused to offer them better medical care.

The deceased have been identified as Ashok Das (21), Haladhar Das (40) and Dhaneswar Swain (32) from Satabhaya and Sahadeb Patra (35) of Junagada village under Rajnagar block in Kendrapada district.

Nialamani Das, the brother of Haladhar, who died April 30, has alleged that the owners of Sipson Plywood have disposed of the bodies of three workers who died earlier and are refusing to hand over his brother’s body to him.

Nilamani, who is now in Ernakulam to get his brother’s body back to Satabhaya for cremation told ‘Sambad’ over phone that Haladhar’s body has not been sent for postmortem as yet. He said his pleadings with the local administration to intervene has also not helped.

Nilamani has now appealed to the Odisha government to ensure Sipson company hands over his brother’s body to him as well as send the other three bodies to Odisha for cremation by their respective families.