Three people were killed after a series of explosions at a chemical factory in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation area in Tarapur town on Thursday night, ANI reported. At least 14 people were injured in the explosions, according to The Indian Express.
The explosions took place in nearly 15 drums containing 200 litres each of solvent at Novephene Specialties Private Limited around 11.15 pm, the Hindustan Times reported. Nearly 40 blasts were heard from the plant, Palghar District Collector Prashant Narnaware told the newspaper.
“It is clear that the said unit did not follow any safety precautions and due to an exothermic reaction, the blast occurred in the solvent drums,” the official said. “We are probing and the guilty will be charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and we may recommend the government to cancel the manufacturing licence of the guilty units.”
The blaze also spread to four other factories nearby. “After the explosion, there was a lot of smoke everywhere and the electricity was cut,” said Sunil Yadav, a staffer at Aarti Drugs, one of the adjoining factories. “The entire building shook and everything fell around us. Around eight labourers with me ran out of the factory.”
Fire officials deployed 11 fire tankers to bring the blaze under control. “The fire was too big to control,” Palghar Superintendent of Police Manjunath Singhe told The Indian Express. “It quickly spread to nearby factories. All precautionary measures are currently in place.”
The blast was heard as far as 10 km away, and houses and buildings shook, Palghar police official Pramod Pawar told IANS.