Jajpur: As many as five labourers of a contractual agency had fallen ill after inhaling poisonous gas that leaked from one of the blast furnaces of MESCO plant in Kalinga Nagar Industrial complex area in Jajpur district on Wednesday.

The affected persons were rushed to the Government hospital at Danagadi for treatment and later one of them was shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after his condition worsened, the police said.

“The labourers of J S Engineering went to paint the blast furnace. As they climbed about 30-feet-high of the blast furnace, they felt suffocated and became unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas leaked from the blast furnace,” K C Mund, Inspector-in-Charge of Kalinga Nagar police station, said.

“They should not have climbed the blast furnace without taking adequate safety measures,” P Banerjee, Chief Operating Officer (Blast Furnace), said.

The victims were rescued by the plant workers and were immediately rushed to the local hospital.