Eight people killed, 60 others injured in a chemical factory blast in Dombivili near Mumbai

The blast was so loud that it was heard a kilometre away, an eyewitness said.
Three fire tenders brought the blaze under control at the century-old building.
Three fire tenders brought the blaze under control at the century-old building.(Videograb)

MUMBAI: Eight people were killed and over 60 have been injured in an explosion in the MIDC’s chemical factory at Dombivali in the extended suburb of Mumbai on Thursday.

According to an official, a boiler explosion at Amudan Chemical Company in Dombivli MIDC Phase 2 was reported around 1.30 PM on Thursday. The distress call was made around 1:40 PM and teams of NDRF, TDRF, and fire brigade were called and 15 engines were deployed to extinguish the fire.

“The impact of the blast shattered the windows of the houses nearby. The fire has spread to two other buildings including a car showroom. It also caused a big crater at the spot. The heat produced by the boiler blast caused heavy iron beams to bend. The roofs of adjacent factories blew off causing massive damage. The sound of the explosion was heard from a kilometre away and a Sai Temple near the blast site. Several devotees were present inside the temple, participating in a ritual. They managed to escape to safety,” said the official.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the deceased families and said that a high-level committee will probe the incident.

He pointed out that the explosion was so big that it impacted seven to eight factories adjoining it.

“We have constituted a high level probe committee and will make sure that the guilty is punished. No one will be spared. A culpable homicide case will be filed against the guilty. We will also carry out safety audit of the factories that are located at MIDC,” Shinde said.

“This is a very unfortunate incident. There are residential buildings around it. This is a high-intensity explosion. Besides, many hazardous companies were situated at the blast site," he said adding that several people are suspected to have been trapped in the explosion site and rescue operation is going on with the help of local authorities.

"We have to categorise the highly hazardous factories into ABC... I have spoken with the Industries Ministry for the segregation and categorisation of the chemical factories.Residential buildings and chemical factories cannot remain in one place. We have to take some strong steps,” Shinde said.

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The New Indian Express