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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Maharashtra govt orders high-level inquiry into Tarapur factory blast

The inquiry will be carried out by Konkan divisional commissioner, director of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) and MIDC chief fire officer.

| Mumbai | Published: January 17, 2020 3:04:43 am
Tarapur factory blast MPCB issues closure notice to ANK Pharma The explosion was triggered by a failed trial run of chemical production at the factory. (File)

THE STATE government has instituted a high-level inquiry into last week’s blast at a chemical factory of a pharmaceutical company in Tarapur Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), in which eight persons were killed.

The inquiry will be carried out by Konkan divisional commissioner, director of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) and MIDC chief fire officer.

A DISH official said the probe team is awaiting reports of preliminary inquiries conducted by the local police, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and other agencies that had granted clearances and permission to operate to A N K Pharma Private Limited, where the explosion occurred just after 7 pm on January 11. “The inquiry will study the preliminary probe reports and arrive at its own conclusions on how the blast took place,” the official added.

Immediately after the blast, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered an audit of all chemical factories in MIDC complexes across the state.

DISH suspects the owner of ANK Pharma, Natwarlal Patel, was conducting a trial run of a chemical explosion using hazardous components when the explosion took place. However, as no residue of the components remain in the reactor where the experiment was being conducted, the investigators are relying on Patel recovering enough to give a statement.

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