The blame game has begun over Friday’s boiler blast at Aarti Industries in Dombivli. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials said they were not directly concerned with the issue, as the mishap occurred inside the factory. The matter comes under the purview of the Industrial Health and Safety Department (IHSD), they said.
MPCB official Sudhir Deshmukh said: “As per available information, the accident took place due to frequent fluctuation in power supply. The heat in the glass reactor rose leading to the blast. The reactor contained liquid bromine, which forms tear gas when exposed to air, leading to burning in the eyes. Our team visited the spot and installed the equipment to monitor air quality. We have sent collected samples to the laboratory. The report is awaited.”
He said a notice has been sent to the factory, which is closed for cleaning, saying all the equipment and facilities should be certified by the IHSD before the factory starts functioning.
Meanwhile, the three employees, who were severely injured in the mishap, are out of danger, said doctors of Hambarde Hospital, Dombivli. The Manpada police have lodged an offence of negligence against the company.
PR Kole, president, Kalyan-Dombivli Ambernath manufacturers’ association, said that since the chemical zone was established at MIDC, no safety norms have been followed. “Residential zones should be at least 500 metres away from a chemical zone. Besides, thousands of unauthorised structures have come up around the chemical zone. The factory plan should have been sanctioned by the IHSD. Officials must visit every factory to check if it is following safety norms.”
The police have organised a meeting on October 30 to discuss safety issues in MIDC. Anil Kumbhare, deputy commissioner of police (Kalyan zone), said: “In the last three years, more than 20 such incidents have taken place in the area. We have decided to invite all government and public agencies for a meeting to discuss the issues.”