March 17, 2018

Palghar: Blast and fire in Maharashtra chemical plant

11 March 2018, 01:30 | Ross Houston

3 killed, several injured as massive fire breaks out at Palghar chemical factory in Maharashtra

Palghar chemical factory fire live updates Death toll rises to 3 killed fire fighting operation underway

Mumbai:At least three people were killed and 15 injured when a series of blasts and a fire ripped through a chemical plant of a pharmaceutical company in Maharashtra's Boisar near Mumbai late.

"We fear there may be more casualties".

Fire started in chemical unit and soon spread to 5 neighbouring plants. It is probing the cause of the fire and has filed an accidental death report, said sources. Preliminary reports suggest that the blasts occurred in 25 drums of 200-litre capacity belonging to Novaphene Speciality Limited, in their factory at Plot E-107, Boisar MIDC. "Vibrations were felt till Palghar", a police official from Boisar police station said.

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The blaze spread to six other factories before it was controlled by firefighters, police said. Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adria, and Alok Nath are identified among dead.

Palghar district collector Prashant Narnaware, meanwhile, said the owners of the unit will likely be booked for negligence. Palghar district superintendent of police Manjunath Singe said rescue personnel found three charred bodies in Aarti Drugs, the third factory to be engulfed in the flames. Fearing it to be an quake, people rushed to the streets.

Hundreds presumed the explosions, "sounding like a huge bomb", was an quake, and rushed out on to the streets. They include Novophene, Unimax, Arti, Prachi, Rasayan and Darbar. Tarapur MIDC was the most important, as there are around 1,100 chemical units which store hazardous and flammable chemicals here. Tarapur Atomic Power Station, India's largest nuclear power station is also located on Boisar-Tarapur road and is just 20 kilometers away from the explosion spot.

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