Six killed in blast at chemical factory in Andhra Pradesh

Published on Apr 15, 2022 12:12 AM IST

Pharmaceutical intermediaries and specialty chemicals are manufactured at the plant, according to police.

A reactor at the pharma unit of Porus Laboratories Pvt Ltd in Akkireddygudem village exploded at around 11:45 pm on Wednesday and set off a fire in the plant, say police. (PTI)
A reactor at the pharma unit of Porus Laboratories Pvt Ltd in Akkireddygudem village exploded at around 11:45 pm on Wednesday and set off a fire in the plant, say police. (PTI)

At least six people were killed and more than 15 people were injured after a blast at a pharmaceutical factory in Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday night, police said.

According to police, a reactor at the pharma unit of Porus Laboratories Pvt Ltd in Akkireddygudem village exploded at around 11:45 pm on Wednesday and set off a fire in the plant.

Pharmaceutical intermediaries and specialty chemicals are manufactured at the plant, according to police.

Nuzvid deputy superintendent of police, B Srinivasulu, said: “Preliminary investigations revealed that when the gas used for manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients in the reactor in the fourth unit of the factory leaked due to suspected malfunction and resulted in the explosion. More than 20 people were working in the unit, when the explosion took place.”

Teams of the Nuzvid police and National Disaster Response Force reached the spot and mounted a rescue operation, he said.

“The fire was extinguished within a couple of hours and situation was brought back to normalcy,” Srinivasulu said.

While five workers were found burnt to death, another worker died while being shifted to the Nuzvid hospital, he said. “Some of the seriously injured workers were shifted to Vijayawada for better treatment,” he added.

Eluru superintendent of police, Rahul Dev Sharma, also rushed to the factory to assess the situation. The cause of the gas leakage was being ascertained, he said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the incident. He announced ex-gratia of 25 lakh to each of the kin of the deceased, 5 lakh to each of the seriously injured and 2 lakh to each of the others injured.

He asked the district authorities to order a comprehensive inquiry into the mishap and health authorities to extend the best possible treatment to the injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives. “Pained by the loss of lives due to a mishap at a chemical unit in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly: PM @narendramodi,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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