Three dead, several injured in blast at chemical plant near Mumbai

Posted March 11, 2018

The blast is prima facie suspected to have occurred in a boiler room and efforts are on to douse the fire in the factory precincts. As a few areas continued to burn, search and cooling operations began only around noon. The three deceased have been identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adaria, and Alok Nath, all employees of Arti Industries.

Senior civil and police officials besides disaster management teams have rushed to the spot. Initial reports from the area suggest that while the fire began in one particular building, it soon turned into an inferno and spread to adjoining buildings as well. The 14 injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, of which at least two are said to be critical, and may have to be shifted to Mumbai.

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The factory manufactures speciality chemicals and cosmetic preservatives dealing in high purity acid and acid anhydrides. They include Novophene, Unimax, Arti, Prachi, Rasayan and Darbar.

It said several drums containing chemicals exploded at the factory. "Nobody has died so far", the IE quoted Manjunath Singhe, Police superintendent of Palghar, as saying. It quickly spread to nearby factories. It is probing the cause of the fire and has filed an accidental death report, said sources.

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Palghar district collector Prashant Narnaware, who reached the site early on Friday, said 40 blasts heard from the plant. There are around 1,100 chemical plants and additional 400-500 other factories in MIDC Tarapur. "I was in my house, which is five km from the spot and our window panes started shaking by the impact".

The Tarapur Atomic Power Station is 20 km west of where the blaze occurred and was not affected by it, the MIDC official said.

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