New Delhi: Around 17 workers, most of them women, were killed and some were reported missing or trapped after a major blaze engulfed a chemical factory near Pune in Maharashtra. The industrial plant, SVS Aqua Technologies, produces chlorine dioxide for water purification, according to Indian Express. The plant is located in Pirangut MIDC area of Mulshi taluka.
"According to company officials, 17 workers were missing when the blaze started at around 4 p.m. So far, we have recovered 12 charred bodies, mostly of women, from the spot and a search for others is on," Devendra Potphode, Chief Fire Officer, PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority), Fire Services, told PTI. A total of 37 workers were inside the factory, as per reports.
He said six to seven fire tenders were rushed to the chemical unit, where flames were doused but the search is underway for the missing workers.
Asked about the possible cause of the blaze, Potphode said as per the company officials, the fire started during packing of plastic materials in the premises.
"Due to some spark at the (packaging) section, the fire broke out and as there was plastic around, it spread rapidly," said Potphode.
(inputs from PTI)