Eight workers were killed and 50 others were injured on Wednesday in a massive fire triggered by a blast in the boiler of a chemical factory at Dahej in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, police said.
The death toll may rise further as some of the injured workers are in a serious condition, according to police.
As companies of methanol and xylene chemicals are located near the affected factory, authorities have shifted about 4,800 people from nearby Luvara and Lakhigam villages to safer places as a precautionary measure.
About 230 workers were present inside the factory, Yashaswi Rasayan, located in Dahej Special Economic Zone-1, 42 kms from Bharuch, at the time of the incident in afternoon, they said.
“Eight workers died in the boiler blast at the chemical factory located in Dahej Special Economic Zone-1, while around 50 others sustained injuries,” said Dahej Marine police station inspector Vipul Gagiya.
While six charred bodies were recovered from the factory after the fire was doused, two more workers died at separate hospitals in Bharuch, he said.
Plumes of smoke rise from the building of a chemical factory after a major fire broke out triggered due to a blast, at Dahej Industrial Estate in Bharuch district of Gujarat
“32 injured workers are admitted in various hospitals in Bharuch and nearby areas,” he said, adding that the death toll may go up as some of the workers are in a serious condition.
About 18-20 workers were given a primary aid, local officials said.
It took about six hours for eleven fire tenders to bring the massive blaze under control, officials said.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Ahmed Patel, blamed the state BJP government for the incident.
He said factories need to undergo complete safety audit as there have been rising cases of industrial accidents in Gujarat.
Patel also expressed concern about recent changes in labour laws, which he said will encourage factories to create “unsafe working conditions”.
“There has been a rise in industrial accidents in Bharuch district today and people lost their lives.
“The buck stops only with the state government ensuring safe working conditions that factories have completed safety audits. We are concerned that recent changes in labour laws will incentivise unsafe working conditions,” he tweeted.