THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major fire broke out at the waste yard of the HLL Life Care (Hindustan Latex Limited) headquarters here on Friday between 6.45 and 7pm. However, no major casualties were reported. Three fire tenders and water tankers from Chengalchoola and Chackai Fire Stations arrived on the scene and doused the fire. Dense smoke that billowed from the area spread panic among people.
The factory authorities had stored a huge quantity of waste condoms mostly made of silicon in the yard. It took the fire fighters nearly two hours to bring the situation under control. “We put out the fire but dense smoke continues to billow. Hence, we brought in a JCB to plough the pile of burnt waste which is mostly rubber, silicon,” said M S Suvi, district fire officer. He said it was hard to find the fire hydrant on the factory premises.
“Even the factory staff were unable to locate the fire hydrant when the water ran out. We had to bring in water tankers,” said M S Suvi. According to the preliminary findings, short circuit could have triggered the blaze. Around 300 workers were present at the factory when the fire broke out. “Those working in the factory’s electrical boiler plant noticed the fire and alerted us ,” said one of the witnesses and a worker at the HLL. The official said they usually tender the rejected cotton for footwear manufacturers.
“Because of the lockdown, the agencies couldn’t cart away the waste and it was dumped here. After the lockdown relaxation around 12 loads of waste were moved from the yard,” said the HLL official.City Police Commissioner Balram Kumar Upadhyay, who visited the spot, said the situation is under control.