Disasters & Accidents

Chemical factory explosion in India kills 5 workers

New Delhi, Jun 3 (efe-epa).- A massive fire sparked by an explosion at a chemical factory in a western Indian state left five people dead and dozens injured on Wednesday, an official said.

The explosion that shot large flames and huge plumes of black smoke into the air took place at the Yashashvi Rasayan factory in an industrial area of Gujarat’s Bharuch district.

The blast originated in the chemical factory’s boiler, but it was not yet clear what caused the explosion.

Bharuch Superintendent of Police R.V. Chudasama said there were about 30 workers inside the factory at the time of the explosion.

“At least five workers died in the explosion. Some people were found dead inside the factory and others died upon arrival at hospitals,” Chudasama told EFE.

He said the exact number of casualties was not known “because rescue operations are still in progress”.

Some nearby apartment buildings were damaged by the impact of the explosion.

Rescue teams have evacuated people from the villages located near the industrial area that houses factories making poisonous chemicals.

Industrial accidental tragedies like building collapses and fires are common in India, often due to faulty infrastructure and lack of maintenance, lax implementation of safety norms and corruption and illegal practices in the construction sector exacerbate those problems.

At least seven people died and thousands were affected after gas leaked from a chemical plant in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh last month.

In one of the most devastating tragedies that struck the national capital New Delhi in December last year, 45 people were killed in a massive fire that ripped through a bag factory, trapping scores of workers sleeping inside.

According to the latest available data from the Ministry of Labour and Employment, some 3,562 workers were killed and more than 51,000 injured in factory accidents between 2014 and 16.

Gujarat accounted for the most 687 deaths followed by Maharashtra with 482 fatalities.

The figures have likely gone up since the ministry is yet to publish updated statistics for the last three years.

The country experienced its worst industrial accident after a toxic gas leak from a pesticide plant led to thousands of deaths in the Indian city of Bhopal in 1984 and is still battling with the aftereffects of the incident. EFE-EPA


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