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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Blasts at chemical factory leave four injured

HT Correspondent  Ludhiana, April 06, 2013
First Published: 20:51 IST(6/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:53 IST(6/4/2013)

A major tragedy was averted after a fire broke out at a factory manufacturing adhesives and other chemicals in Beant Pura, near Samrala Chowk, around at around 8am on Saturday.

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Drums full of chemicals caught fire and the cascading blasts thereafter made it it difficult for the firefighters to douse the inferno. Four of the five workers present -Vishwanath, 43, of Janakpuri;  Raja Mandal, 38, of Puneet Nagar;  Santosh, 33, of Puneet Nagar; and Raj Kumar , 32, of Beant Pura -  suffered burn injuries while the fifth escaped unhurt. The injured were rushed to the civil hospital by an '108 Ambulance'.

Later, after an assessment of their condition, doctors referred them to the Christian Medical College. The condition of two was said to be critical.

It took nearly seven hours for 14 fire tenders to control the blaze. Taking cognisance of the incident, the division number-7 police station registered a criminal case against the factory owner Praveen Aggarwal under Sections 337, 338, 427 and 285 of the IPC.

A team of forensic experts has been employed to ascertain the reason behind the fire and to pin the responsibility of the incident.

As per the testimony of the labourers, the fire was caused by short circuit in the power supply cables that set the chemicals in the factory ablaze. They said they tried, but failed to control the fire.

People gathered around the factory called up fire station and ambulance. The blasts caused chemicals to seep out of the factory, around on the street, which further added to the woes of the firefighters, apart from the narrow approach lane to the factory.

The inferno was so intense that firefighters had to breach the wall of the factory to throw water inside. Due to the fire and blasts, the surrounding buildings too developed cracks. Eventually, the fire was doused around 5pm.

Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) (city-4) NK Sharma, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Dhruman Nimbale, ACP Ramneesh Choudhary and ACP Jaswinder Singh reached the spot. A detachment of the quick response team (QRT) was also deployed on the spot to control the situation.

Inspector Raj Kumar, station house officer (SHO) of division number-7 police station, said a case was registered against the factory owner and the police were trying for his arrest.

The SHO said the police were also looking into whether the factory owner possesses a licence for storing chemicals.

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