40 blasts in Tarapur chemical unit, tremors felt 12km away

Top officials have reached the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation area in Tarapur and are working on to doze fire

Six factories were affected by the fire.

The blast is prima facie suspected to have occurred in a boiler room and efforts are on to douse the fire in the factory precincts. Palghar district superintendent of police Manjunath Singe said rescue personnel found three charred bodies in Aarti Drugs, the third factory to be engulfed in the flames.

Almost 30 to 40 loud explosions were heard by locals as they came out of their houses fearing an natural disaster.




Local eyewitnesses said that the explosion, "sounding like a huge bomb" took place when many people were preparing to retire for the night. Four nearby chemical units - Bharat Rasayan, Arti Industries (a major pharma unit manufacturing vitamins), Unimax and others - were either partially or completely destroyed. Manjunath Singhe, Palghar SP said that the number of casualties could up, adding that the search and rescue operation is now underway. The injured have been admitted to hospitals, Shinge said. The deceased were identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adaria and Alok Nath, all from Arti industries, said SP Palghar. The site manufactures specialty chemicals and cosmetic preservatives dealing in high purity acid and acid anhydrides. Collector Narnavre said: "The Department of Industrial Safety was formed to look into industrial compliances post last year's industrial fire incident in Wada Taluka, Palghar".

The Indian Express reports that at least two people injured in the blast remain in critical condition. Tarapur Automic Power Station, which is also situated on Boisar-Tarapur Road is around 20 kms away from the spot, he added. It is probing the cause of the fire and has filed an accidental death report, said sources. Tarapur MIDC was the most important, as there are around 1,100 chemical units which store hazardous and flammable chemicals here.

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