At least three children died and another suffered severe burn injuries on Sunday when a heap of straw caught fire in a village in Odisha's Ganjam district, police said.
Sairam Jani, Deepak Gouda and Itishree Jena, all below 10 years of age, were playing near the heap when it caught fire around 11 am in Khairachata village, according to a senior police officer.
What triggered the fire was not known yet, the officer added.
The fourth child, Alok Jena, was being treated at a nearby hospital in Berhampur.
"Three children - two boys and a girl - were brought dead. We are trying to save the fourth, who suffered 60 per cent burns," said a doctor at the hospital.
Expressing sorrow, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the family of the deceased. "I express my deep sympathy towards the bereaved families and announce Rs 4 lakh each for the next of the kin of the victims," Mr Patnaik said in a statement.
The chief minister also announced free medical treatment for the injured child and wished his speedy recovery.