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Maharashtra: 3 killed, 12 injured in chemical factory fire in Palghar

11 March 2018, 01:35 | Hattie Nash

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

The explosion happened around 11.15pm at Novaphene Specialities Pvt Ltd's plant where 25 drums containing 200 litres of solvent each were stocked in the open, Palghar district officials said. 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. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and fire fighting operation is on, another official said.

The loud blast was heard several miles away around midnight and many villagers rushed out of their homes in panic, the Indian Express newspaper reported. During the search and rescue operation at Arti Industries site, three unidentified dead bodies were recovered. "Vibrations were felt till Palghar", a police official from Boisar police station said.

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Hundreds presumed the explosions, "sounding like a huge bomb", was an natural disaster, and rushed out on to the streets. Four nearby chemical units - Bharat Rasayan, Arti Industries (a major pharma unit manufacturing vitamins), Unimax and others - were either partially or completely destroyed. The three deceased, identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adaria and Alok Nath suffered severe blast impact. These chemicals deal in high purity acid and acid anhydrides. The blaze has reportedly engulfed two nearby factories, too. The MIDC area has over 1,100 highly flammable units.

The collector added that aid was asked for controlling the fire from Vasai-Virar Municipal corporation, Tarapur Atomic Plant and Reliance thermal power station. Collector Narnavre said: "The Department of Industrial Safety was formed to look into industrial compliances post last year's industrial fire incident in Wada Taluka, Palghar".

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