Two workers died and nine others fainted on Saturday after they inhaled poisonous gas at a lead plant owned by Hindustan Zinc in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, police said.
Enraged over the incident, workers protested outside the plant and burnt three vehicles including a police van and vandalised property, SP Rajsamand Rahul Katkey said. They also pelted stones at police leaving two policemen injured.
Katkey said some poisonous gas leaked out leaving Devi Lal and Madhav, both aged around 35 years, dead. The cause of the leakage was not known, he said.
Nine others fainted and were hospitalised in Udaipur where their condition is stated to be stable.
"The incident happened at a furnace at Dariba Lead plant of Hindustan Zinc which was under maintenance shut-down and there was a suspected gas leakage at about 1 PM from the system," Hindustan Zinc said in a statement.
"This unfortunate incident also led to two fatalities," it said, adding six workers had fainted but later all of them were declared out of danger.
The company has instituted an internal inquiry into the incident and said it would ensure that such incidents do not recur. It also said families of the deceased would be suitably compensated.
"Additional force was rushed to the spot to control the situation. The agitating mob was dispersed and the law and order is now under control," the SP said, adding, cases would be lodged against the agitating employees.