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GFL blast: Toll rises to 7, two bodies trapped on 7th floor

Until Friday evening, SDRF efforts were ongoing to remove the two bodies located inside the charred and collapsed structure on the seventh floor of the plant, local administration officials said.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
December 17, 2021 9:43:58 pm
GFL has announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for those killed in the blast and Rs 7 lakh for the injured victims.

A day after the blast at Gujarat Fluorochemicals Limited (GFL), which manufactures refrigerants at Ranjitnagar in Panchmahal’s Ghoghamba, killed five, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), which began its search operations inside the seven-storeyed building Friday morning, found two more dead bodies trapped in the debris, taking the death toll to seven.

The SDRF, using drone cameras and hydraulic cranes, began its efforts to pull out the bodies that were ‘unidentifiable’, officials said.

Until Friday evening, SDRF efforts were ongoing to remove the two bodies located inside the charred and collapsed structure on the seventh floor of the plant, local administration officials said. An official said the rescue operations were undertaken as the company had provided the administration with names of at least 29 persons who were said to be present inside the plant when the tragedy struck. Of these, 22 were identified among the injured and four other dead bodies were identified on Thursday.

However, identifying the three charred bodies — two of which were found trapped during an SDRF drone camera survey on the seventh floor — has been difficult.

The SDRF was also joined by officials of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), inspectors of the industrial safety department as well as officials of the Rajgadh police station of Panchmahal district, where a case of accidental death has been registered.

“The bodies that are still trapped inside are dismembered due to the impact of the blast… According to the preliminary inquiry, the impact was such that even objects weighing over 50 kilos flew across a distance of nearly 200 metres… We are considering that we have located all 29 persons that were listed by the company as being inside the premises — seven of whom are dead. The two bodies that are found trapped will be pulled out with the help of the hydraulic cranes and the SDRF is at it. The bodies are not identifiable,” the official told this newspaper.


Among the ‘missing persons’ since Thursday is a 34-year-old assistant manager of the MPI-2 plant, Suhas Rohit. On Friday, with the SDRF locating two trapped bodies inside the plant, officials said Rohit was ‘feared dead’ due to the proximity to the blast site. Rohit’s family, which arrived in Ghoghamba to look for him following the news of the tragedy, said they were planning to celebrate the birthday of his two-year-old daughter on December 25.

The preliminary inquiry report submitted by the Ghoghamba Mamlatdar and Executive Magistrate to the District Collector of Panchmahal, following the explosion at the GFL unit Thursday, states the fire was a result of a blast in the boiler of one of the plants of the refrigerant factory. The preliminary inquiry report had confirmed the first three deaths that occurred Thursday and also lists a total of 22 identified injured persons from the plant. The seven deceased have been identified as Naresh Rathwa and Dilip Rathwa from Pavi Jetpur in Chhota Udepur, Gajendrasinh Padhiyar from Padra in Vadodara, Lakshmansinh Parmar from Ghoghamba taluka and Rajesh Pitroda of Halol taluka of Panchmahal, Suhas Kanchan Rohit from Vadodara and an Uttar Pradesh native Anand Kumar Yadav.

GFL has announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for those killed in the blast and Rs 7 lakh for the injured victims.

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