Nine people were killed and six others were critically injured in a major blast that took place in a chemical boiler factory at Pirana-Piplaj road in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Due to the impact of the blast, the walls and roof of an adjacent clothes godown came down, resulting in several workers getting trapped who were later rescued.
According to fire safety officials, the blast occurred between 11:30 am to 11:40 am. Rescue team officials said two more persons were still believed to be trapped beneath the rubble. More than 60 personnel of the fire safety department were pressed into service with 24 fire tender vehicles as soon as the information was received.
“The rescue operation was challenging because of fire and the building collapse. So, we had to douse the fire, take out the smoke and then remove the debris. We have managed to rescue nine persons and they have been taken to LG Hospital for emergency medical treatment while nine bodies have also been retrieved. We fear that two persons are still trapped in the debris and our operation is going on,” said MF Dastoor, Chief Fire Officer, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
As per eye-witnesses, the impact of the blast was so massive that it felt like an earthquake. Raju Ghanchi (24), an employee at Kanika Texo Fab garment company godown, said: “I was working in the godown when I heard the massive blast sound. Walls and the roof of our godown fell down. Many of my friends got trapped inside. I was also trapped as wooden shafts fell on my legs. Somehow I was rescued by others. I have received injuries on my legs.”
Dhruv Chopra (28), the owner of Kanika Texo Fab company, said, “I was at the parking spot near my godown when I heard a huge blast around 11:30 am. For a few minutes, I lost all my senses and somehow I called 108 number for the ambulance. Later my workers made calls to police and fire department. I have 30 workers in my godown and 28 have been accounted for. Two are still missing and I hope they are rescued safely.”
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