MUMBAI: Five people died and 129 others were injured in a blast at a chemical factory at MIDC area in Dombivli near Thane on Thursday. While the state government ordered a probe into the incident, it also plans to shift chemical factories out of Dombivli as they were proving to be a safety hazard for the residents.
According to witnesses, a boiler in the factory exploded around 11.30am leading to a major fire. More than five fire engines were rushed to the spot. The companies in the vicinity felt the vibrations, while locals said window panes of their homes were shattered. Fearing more blasts, many residents came out on the streets. The police. meanwhile, asked people in the area to wear masks as a precautionary measure, as many in the area complained of nausea. While chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered speeding up of relief operations, Eknath Shinde, guardian minister of Thane, said strict action would be taken against those guilty.
“Saddened to know about the unfortunate & tragic incident that took place at Dombivli. Spoke to police officials & local authorities and asked them to speed up the relief operations. We are constantly in touch with the local administration and we would leave no stone unturned in our efforts & relief operation,” Fadnavis tweeted.
“We will thoroughly inquire into the incident and action will be taken against those responsible for the incidents,” said guardian minister Eknath Shinde, after visiting the gutted factory. He also announced that the cost of treatment of the injured would be borne by the state government.
Aditya Patwardhan, a resident, said, “We thought it was a bomb explosion. I was shocked to see the window panes broken and the cracks in the wall.”
A police i nspector f rom Manpada police station said, “We have sealed the area around the company. We have asked for more force to control the public and at the same time there have been traffic diversion to avoid any further problems. Investigation is going on to know more about the incident”.