Palghar factory blast: Death Toll rises to eight

The death toll in the explosion at a chemical factory in Maharashtra’s Palghar district rose to eight on Sunday after the body of a missing girl was recovered from the debris at the site, officials said.

The blast took place on Saturday evening during the testing of some chemicals at the under-construction plant of Ank Pharma in Kolwade village, killing six people. During the debris clearing operation, one more body was found on Sunday morning. The deceased was identified as Trinidad Dasari (35), district disaster control cell chief Vivekananda Kadam said.

Later, the body of a girl, who was missing since the mishap took place, was also found, another official said. “We recovered the body of the missing girl, identified as Khushi Surendra Yadav, from the debris around 1.30 pm today. She was in the age group of 13 to 14 years,” district Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh told PTI.

 Palghar chemical factory blast: Toll rises to eight as bodies of 35-year-old man, the teenage girl recovered from the debris. At least eight were killed in an explosion at a chemical factory in Boisar. ANI

The blast took place on Saturday evening during the testing of some chemicals at the under-construction plant of Ank Pharma in Kolwade village, killing six people. The six found dead on Saturday were identified as Mohan Ingle (45), Sakshi Madan (39), Nishu Singh (26), Madhuri Singh (46), Gokul Jadhav (18) and Ilyas Ansari (45) (factory watchman).

Besides, the seven injured persons, including the plant owner Natwarbhai Patel, who was seriously hurt, was undergoing treatment at different hospitals, Kadam said. Work for clearing the debris was still underway, he added.

The explosion took place during the testing of some chemicals around 7.20 pm at the plant in a Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area of Boisar, located over 100 km away from Mumbai, officials earlier said. The blast was so huge that it was heard within a 15-km radius, and windowpanes of some houses in the surrounding area shattered, they said.

The under-construction plant building collapsed after the explosion and two other chemical units located in the vicinity also suffered damages, Kadam said. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also called for rescue operations on Saturday.

District Guardian minister Dada Bhuse inspected the blast site late Saturday night. Later talking to reporters, he said as per preliminary reports, the plant had permission from the authorities concerned to carry out testing of machinery. “However, the district health and safety officials will visit the site today and carry out an inspection. Based on their report, police will take further action,” he said.

As of now, an accidental death report has been registered, an official at Boisar police station said.

“In view of several chemical units located in Boisar MIDC, we have to now seriously think of taking steps to prevent such incidents in the future,” Bhuse said. The minister said he would hold a meeting with all stakeholders in the coming days to come up with some preventive measures. We would seek guidance and suggestions from experts in this field. Periodic inspections of these plants will be conducted to come out with safety measures”.

The minister also said that he would visit the blast site on Sunday for a detailed review of the incident. Earlier, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced an assistance of Rs five lakh each for the kin of the deceased.

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