A major tragedy was averted with no loss of life after a chemical manufacturing factory was gutted in fire on Thursday morning in Panchkula. The owner of the factory, Dharam Paul, was booked by the police but no arrests were made.
The fire broke out at Paul Water Treatment Services, on plot number 213 in Industrial Area, Panchkula, at about 6.45am and it took nine fire tenders working for 32 rounds to douse the flames after seven hours.
As per information, after the factory caught fire, within minutes the flames could be seen coming out from the building as chemicals ignited the flames easily. The security guard of the factory sounded the fire department who reached the spot with five fire tenders from Panchkula city. Later, four more fire tenders, two each from Kalka and Chandigarh, were called in the service.
Informing fire officer SS Malik said, “We had to call for more fire tenders as the fire was massive. The factory had inflammable chemical substance which caught the fire easily and thus made it spread across factory in minutes. It took us about seven hours to extinguish the flames.”
The owner was booked under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3, 4, 5 under the Explosive Substance Act.
AIR POLLUTION MADE SIX UNCONSCIOUS
As the chemicals burnt in the fire and made the air polluted, six fell unconscious.
Two fire fighters, two employees of the factory and two sacha sauda followers, who had reached the spot to provide services, fell unconscious.
The burning chemicals caused suffocation and breathing problem to those present near the burning factory.
UNPREPAREDNESS OF FIRE DEPARTMENT
The unpreparedness of the fire department once again got exposed as the fire fighters were seen ill-equipped. They were discharged from General Hospital-6 after brief medical assistance.
Also there was no hydraulic fire tender used and the fire fighters kept dousing the fire on fire floor standing right below it. This further delayed the process of putting off the fire as water reached inside on fire floor with great difficulty.
The factory owner said the total loss could be ascertained only after he entered the factory. But apparently, the loss appeared to be that of about ` 1.5 crore, he claimed.
“The loss is huge and all records for the past 10 years have got destroyed in the fire. Thankfully, there was no one inside the factory during the incident.”