Dhenkanal: Four persons died and seven others injured when the wall of an abandoned rice mill near a weekly haat at Alasua in Dhenkanal town collapsed on Sunday morning.
The incident took place at around 7 am when a huge portion of the rice mill wall suddenly caved in and fell on the street vendors and vegetable farmers, who were selling their produce. Besides, several two-wheelers and bicycles kept under the wall were crushed.
On being informed, the Town Police accompanied by a team of ODRAF and Fire Services personnel rushed to the spot and brought out four persons from under the debris and rushed them to the district headquarters hospital, where the doctors pronounced them as brought dead.
The deceased have been identified as Sangram Sahu, Ramachandra Sahu, Mayadhar Sahu and Abhimanyu Biswal.
As informed by Ramakant Nayak, Assistant Fire Officer, 11 people have been hospitalised of which the condition of five persons is stated to be critical.
Stating that more persons are feared to have trapped under the debris, he said the number of casualties is most likely to go up.
According to sources, hundreds of people of Dhenkanal town and its periphery used to throng the weekly haat at Alasua near the Caltax on the National Highway every Sunday. Besides, several traders from different areas of the district come to the haat for business.
Till reports last came in, the district administration has demolished the remaining portion of the wall and some abandoned houses inside the rice mill premises with the help of a JCB machine.
The rice mill owned by one D Hansaraj has been lying unused for several years. Since the mill has been abandoned, there is no maintenance of the mill and its infrastructure.