Three killed after massive blaze at chemical factory

Map of Mumbai India

Five injured, three dead after fire breaks out in Maharashtra's Palghar chemical factory; rescue operations underway

"There is a fire after boiler blast in the Boisar industrial estate".

The impact of the boiler blast was felt in the surrounding villages up to 8 km. As a few areas continued to burn, search and cooling operations began only around noon.

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The three deceased have been identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adaria and Alok Nath.

During the search operation, three unidentified dead bodies were found at chemical factory Arti Industries, said an official. "No person from the Novaphane company has come forward to inform us", said Prakash Birajdar, senior police inspector of MIDC police. The plant manufactures speciality chemicals and cosmetic preservatives dealing in high-purity acid and acid anhydrides, which are organic compounds. Six factories- Novaphene, Unimax, Prachi, Arti, Bharat Rasayan, Darbar were affected by fire.

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Even as firemen and disaster teams had rushed to the site, the blaze had quickly spread to at least five other chemical companies in the vicinity, Shinge said. "The fire was too big to control". The injured factory workers were taken to the nearby government hospitals in Palghar. "Nobody has died so far", the IE quoted Manjunath Singhe, Police superintendent of Palghar, as saying.

According to locals, at least 22 tankers with varying capacities between 100-200 litres burst due to the fire. Three of them are said to be in a critical condition. Tarapur MIDC was the most important, as there are around 1,100 chemical units which store hazardous and flammable chemicals here.

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Palghar district collector Prashant Narnaware, meanwhile, said the owners of the unit will likely be booked for negligence. Tarapur Automic Power Station, which is also situated on Boisar-Tarapur Road is around 20 kms away from the spot, he added.

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