Over 1,500 villagers were taken to safer places after a major fire broke out following an explosion caused by a spark in a chemical company at Ambheta village in Vagra taluka of Bharuch early on Tuesday morning. Over 20 fire tenders were pressed into service to contain the fire. However, there was no casualties, said a senior government official. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team and fire brigade experts from Vadodara, Vapi, Surat, Bharuch and Ankleshwar reached the spot to bring the raging fire under control.
According to sources, the fire broke out in Sterling Auxiliaries Private Limited at Ambheta village at 3.30 am. All staffers on duty escaped unhurt and evacuated safely. Bharuch district collector Sandeep Sagale reached the spot on Tuesday morning and reviewed the situation. He said, “A spark took place while hazardous chemicals were transferred from one chamber to another. The actual cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. Our first priority is to douse the fire.”
Over 20 fire tenders were from Surat, Bharuch and Ankleshwar were brought to the spot to douse the fire. The fire fighting operation, which was started early Tuesday morning, continued till the evening. NDRF team and fire safety experts from Vadodara and Vapi were immediately rushed to the spot, said V N Gohil, Vagra Mamlatdar.
Ambheta village Sarpanch Sanjaysinh said, “There are around five companies situated in our village with a population of 1,552 people. As a precautionary measure, the disaster management team shifted the villagers to nearby villages like Luvara, Lakhigam, Dahej.” Due to the presence of highly inflammable chemicals in the company, the fire engulfed the entire premises in a short time. The fire officials struggled hard for hours to control the fire till Tuesday afternoon, still the remnants of flames were seen in some portion of the factory. Higher officials of the company from its headquarters also reached the spot.
Bharuch District Superinten-dent of Police Sandeep Singh said, “The fire is almost under control and process of cooling down has been started. The NDRF and fire experts are working in tandem to prevent the fire from spreading to big tanks filled with ethylene oxide chemicals. We have registered an offence in this regard and FSL officials have also reached the spot to join the probe.”