Mumbai: At least 20 people have died and 50 more injured in a blast that took place in a chemical factory in Vaghadi village of Dhule, Maharashtra on Saturday. The chemical factory is located within the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area in Shirpur teshil. Police, Fire Brigade from Dhule municipality as well as National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) team have reached the spot.
According to the local people, the blast took place around 9:15 in the morning. Around 100 labourers were working in the factory at the time of blast, as per sources. Many of the dead were labourers at the factory.
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The intensity of blast can be gauged from the fact that the explosion could be heard within a radius of nearly 5 kilometres. Many of the homes and offices in the zone have lost glass windows. People also fear that the gas released during the explosion could be hazardous to health. The state government has moved a team of doctors and chemical experts to the area.
Sources said the blast allegedly took place due to the explosion of gas cylinders in the factory. But no authority has confirmed it till now. "We are trying to find the reason of the blast. As of now there is no clarity," said a police official.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have tweeted about the incident. Maharashtra government has announced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each deceased.
The concerned factory Rumit Chemsynth Pvt Ltd. manufactures a chemical used for making medicines, according to PTI.
An officer said that presence of a number of nitrogen gas cylinders and barrels containing chemicals in the factory increased the severity of the blasts.
"Prima facie, a fire was triggered due to leak of chemical from a barrel which spread to cylinders causing blasts," the officer said.
This is the second such huge blast in last few years in Maharashtra. In 2016, another blast had taken place in the boiler of a chemical factory in Dombivali, Thane. But the first reports coming from the blast site in Dhule suggest that this blast may have been of more intensity, and thus, caused greater loss.
Vaghadi village, where the blast has taken place, is 60 kilometres away from Dhule city.
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