Massive fire at Navi Mumbai chemical factory leaves 3 injured
A massive fire broke out at a chemical factory in Navi Mumbai's Kopar Khairane MIDC yesterday, leaving two persons grievously injured and another wounded, and gutting five neighboring factories. Losses have been estimated at crores. Preliminary probe revealed that the inferno started around 2am after liquid chemicals in Alma Specialty Chemicals factory caught fire following a blast in a chemical reactor's glass column.
The three injured-Mohammed Aslam Hussain (55), Manikchand Gautam (25) and Rajendra Prasad Chavan (40)-were working in the night shift when fire broke out. While Chavan suffered 35% injuries, Gautam and Hussain are struggling for life after suffering 95% and 80% injuries, respectively. There was another worker who escaped unhurt. Factories of Vaishnavi Ester, Excel Petroleum, Narlabs, ProtonBiotech and NaikEnviro were also reduced to ashes.
Around 2.35am, fire tenders from Vashi, Airoli, CBD Belapur and Panvel were pressed into action, but after it started spreading, additional fire services from Mumbai and Thane were called in. After 4 hours, the fire was brought under control, but cooling took almost 12-hours and went on till yesterday afternoon. Due to chemical-filled drains near these factories, a fire tender was kept on standby.
Cops said case of accidental fire has been registered for now, but investigations will start after a survey of the site, which isn't fit for breathing yet. Talking to the injured is also pivotal but "none of them are in a condition to give statements," said SI Sudhir Tengale, Turbhe MIDC police station. Fire inspectors, MSEDCL officials are also expected to visit the spot.
Locals, who could hear explosion sounds throughout the night, alleged that fire tenders ran out of water. Refuting it, fire officer Surendra Chaudhary said they used foam to douse the fire as water may react with chemicals, thus ensuring that the fire didn't spread further.