At least eight people died and around 40 workers were injured on Wednesday after a fire broke out in a chemical factory in Bharuch district of Gujarat, reported PTI. The fire, which broke out at 12 pm, has now been doused.
“Eight workers died in the boiler blast at the chemical factory,” Inspector Vipul Gagiya told the news agency.
Bharuch Collector MD Modia said the blaze was triggered by an explosion in the boiler room of the factory, located in the Dahej area. “Around 35-40 workers received burn injuries after the boiler of an agro-chemical company exploded in the afternoon,” he said. “All the injured have been taken to hospitals in Bharuch, and efforts are on to control the fire.”
Earlier in the day, Modia said that 4,800 people have been evacuated from two of the nearby villages, keeping in view that highly flammable chemicals have been stored at the company campus. “An inquiry will be conducted into the incident.”
Ten trucks of firefighters were called in as the blaze engulfed the entire factory. The plant is a unit of Yashashvi Rasayan, a chemical manufacturer, which produces over 15 chemicals for industrial use, according to NDTV.
The explosion caused thick black smoke to fill the air and forced people living in nearby villages of Lakhi and Luvara to evacuate for fear of noxious fumes and the possible spread of poisonous chemicals into the surrounding area.
Last month, 11 people, including a child, had died after toxic gas leaked from the chemical plant of the LG Polymers’ Visakhapatnmam plant on May 7. The gas leak occurred at the LG Polymers Plantat RR Venkatapuram near Naiduthota area between 2.30 am and 3 am and spread over a radius of about 3 km, affecting at least five villages. The National Green Tribunal has said that LG Polymers had “absolute liability” for the deaths in the gas leak incident at its Visakhapatnam plant last month.