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Fire at Taloja chemical company in Navi Mumbai

The toxic fumes that emanated from the plant forced the fire personnel to evacuate employees of nearby companies, reports G Mohiuddin Jeddy.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2006 20:53 IST

A fire broke out at the Taloja plant of Dorf Ketal, the largest Indian manufacturer of research based specialty chemicals used in treatment of refineries, petrochemical plants, and ancillary units, on Saturday morning at 10.15 am.

Though the fire was controlled in some time, the toxic fumes that emanated from the plant forced the fire personnel to evacuate employees of nearby companies.

Dorf Ketal has its primary production base and research facilities at Taloja and is surrounded by several chemical companies. Informed Abhimanyu Gharat, CIDCO fire officer, "Processing in one of the plants in the company had been stopped for a couple of days. When it was restarted on Saturday, the pressure in the vessel where Para Nitrate Analene was stored in a solid form seems to have increased."

"The solvent turned into a powdery form and came into contact with atmospheric pressure. The company officials have informed us that prima facie this seems to have caused the fire."

Six fire brigade vehicles from CIDCO fire station in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) fire station in Vashi and the Taloja MIDC area were pressed into service.

Gharat said, "The company had excellent fire fighting equipments of its own and hence it facilitated in controlling the fire. However problem arose due to the emanation of toxic fumes, which can spread upto a radius of 1 kilometre.

As a precautionary measure we asked for evacuation of employees of nearby companies including Hindalco, which has a major presence here."

Gharat said it took an hour for the fire personnel to dissolve the toxic fumes. "Fortunately the company is well equipped with hydrants. A lot of water is required for this process and we had no problems."

Gharat said that around 2 to 3 tonnes of stock was stored in the plant, which was lost in the fire. "The loss is not much. There are no casualties either."

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First Published: Oct 28, 2006 20:53 IST