Berhampur: Three persons, including an elderly woman and two minor children died due to suffocation after the molasses tank of a sugar factory blast in Ganjam district, police said today.

The mishap occurred at the Aska Co-operative Sugar Industries Limited at Aska, late Sunday night. The sudden outflow of thick spillage from the 2000 tonne capacity molasses tank rushed into the nearby staff quarters killing the three in their sleep.

The tank was over 50 years old and due to toxic gas of the molasses, it was suspected to be the cause of the deaths, the police official said.