Thane factory blast toll climbs to 8; Eknath Shinde says hazardous units to be relocated

Thane (Maharashtra): The death in a chemical factory blast-cum-blaze in Dombivli town rose to 8 and another 64 were injured, while eight were rescued even as the state government on Thursday announced plans to relocate hazardous industries from the town.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde who visited the tragedy site said that the multiple explosions followed by a massive fire took place in a chemical reactor in the Amudan Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., situated in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) complex, around 1.30 p.m.

The triple explosions at quick intervals were so powerful that nearby homes shook, windows and glass-panes were shattered even as terrified locals and workers in adjoining industrial premises rushed out onto the streets.

Minutes later, a huge fire engulfed the factory complex and thick clouds of smoke were seen billowing in the air even as half a dozen fire-tenders, water tankers and rescue teams rushed to the spot.

The deafening sound of the blasts were heard several kilometres and the dark smoke was visible even in adjoining towns, sparking panic and confusion, locals said.

Shinde said that in view of the risks posed by certain categories of industries, the government plans to shift such hazardous factories to another location to avoid such disasters in future.

The blasts occurred around lunch time in the Amudan Chemical Co. Ltd., and soon afterwards, the district authorities deployed the NDRF, SDRF plus the local Fire Brigade and Police to help with the rescue mission, plus to ensure that the flames do not spread to the other industries in the vicinity.

Due to the intensity of the flames, fanned by winds, the firemen were seen directing jets of water from several scores of metres away to control the blaze.

The rescue operations were continuing when reports last came in at 9 p.m., amid apprehensions that a few more persons may be trapped inside the factory premises.


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