January 6, 2009 2:21:47 am
At least three contractual workers were killed and two others severely injured in two explosions at an Ankleshwar-based chemical dye manufacturing unit on Monday. The unit is located in the premises of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in Bharuch district.
According to the Ankleshwar GIDC police,the explosions took place in the wee hours on Monday at Shivam Chemicals and Alum,which manufactures Zinc Sulphate.
The deceased have been identified as Rajesh Natwarlal Vasava (24),Kamlesh Vasava (22) and Shukha Vasava (25). The bodies of the workers have been sent to Ankleshwar Civil Hospital for postmortem.
The bodies were badly burnt in the explosion, said Inspector A D SrivastavaGIDC police .
However,the police are still investigating as to what these workers were doing in the factory at such late hours.
GIDC police officers said that the police as well as the fire brigade got a call around 2.30 am on Monday reporting two big explosions in the factory. The entire unit has been damaged in the explosion,they added.
The Department of Gujarat Industrial Safety and Health said that the accident was caused by the presence of foreign bodies in the manufacturing process.
The manufacturing process of Zinc Sulphate is not hazardous. After conducting necessary tests in the factory,we found that the presence of foreign chemicals caused the explosion. The details of the foreign chemicals will be available soon, said P J Gamit,Deputy Director of Industrial Safety and Health.
He added: Experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory are also aiding the investigation of the foreign particles,which were present in the manufacturing process.
Meanwhile,officials from Shivam Chemicals and Alum refused to comment,saying that there was no one to represent the company at the moment.
Ankleshwar GIDC has been known as the hub of chemical disasters. In May 2008,there were four disasters reported within one week. On May 5,three labourers died at Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals Company while carrying out maintenance work inside the company premises. On April 3,a massive explosion had rocked the Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Limited (BEIL). GPCB records revealed that the BEIL waste disposal facility had stored chemicals like solvents,pesticides,fertilisers and organic compounds.
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