The incident happened yesterday when Anil, a resident of Chamanganj, allegedly kept a leaking gas cylinder inside a water tank at a public toilet here, they said. As the water tank was empty, the leakage continued and spread. Meanwhile, someone entered the toilet and lit a cigarette which triggered the blaze, they said.
Police rushed to the spot and admitted the injured to the hospital where five of them succumbed to their injuries. The deceased have been identified as Anurag (12), Sita Devi (40), Hasina (48), Anil (24), Sunil (29).
Nine people were critically injured in the mishap, police said. District Magistrate Roshan Jacob has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He has also announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the deceased and Rs 20,000 for the seriously injured.