At least 13 people died in a cylinder explosion at a chemical factory in Dhule, Maharashtra, on Saturday morning, PTI reported quoting the police. As many as 58 people were injured. Twelve of them are said to be in critical condition, according to The Indian Express.
There were at least 100 employees in the factory when the blast occurred at 9.45 am. The factory is located in Waghadi village in Shirpur taluka of Dhule district. The Rumit Chemsynth Pvt Ltd manufactures a chemical used for making medicines.
The fire is said to be under control now. “Prima facie, multiple cylinders exploded at the factory,” the Shirpur police station officer told PTI. “Rescue operation is on.”
“Prima facie, a fire was triggered due to leak of chemical from a barrel which spread to cylinders causing blasts,” an unidentified police officer told PTI. The police initially suspected that the boiler exploded, but later found it to be intact. The officer said the presence of nitrogen gas cylinders and barrels containing chemicals in the factory increased the severity of the blasts.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. He said that the collector, superintendent of police are present at the spot along with the state disaster response force team.
Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Fadnavis to take stock of the situation. “Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to explosion at a chemical factory in Dhule, Maharashtra,” Shah tweeted. “Have spoken to CM @Dev_Fadnavis, state govt is doing everything possible to assist the people in need. My condolences with the bereaved families. May injured recover soon.”