An explosion at a pharmaceuticals company unit in the Tarapur MIDC Sunday night left one of its employees dead and eight others injured, two of them seriously.
According to officials, the explosion occurred between 10:30 pm and 10: 50 pm at the plant of Neutraplus India Ltd and the fire spread to the adjacent plant of Vanita Textiles Exports Limited.
Three fire engines from Tarapur MIDC, two from Vasai-Virar and one each from Palghar and Reliance Dahanu fire stations were rushed to the spot, besides eight water tankers and two ambulances.
“The drugs used by the company in the reactors are highly inflammable. The reactor explosion was so strong that an adjacent plant was also damaged. The fire was brought under control around 3 am Monday. Later, the body of Ajay Nathuram Bore (52), a supervisor with the company, was pulled out from the wreckage. Two security guards with Vanita Textiles, who rushed to help, were seriously injured, while six others also sustained injuries. Fire safety norms were not followed at the plant,” said Boisar taluka tehsildar Chandrasen Pawar.
Dilip Pimple, director, Neutraplus India Ltd, however, said, “A spark led to a fire in the plant, which in turn led to an explosion due to the presence of highly flammable pharmaceutical drugs in the plant. There was no explosion in the reactor.”
Fire officials said that the entire rescue operation was over by 5:30 am on Monday. “The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but prima facie, there seems to have been a short circuit on the second floor of the building, which caused the explosion,” said an official with the Palghar fire brigade.
“We have registered a case of negligence against the administrative staff of the company and the owner of Neutraplus India Ltd. The two seriously injured security guards have been identified as Nand Sikander Singh (38) and Indrajit Laljeet Tiwari (42). We will submit our investigation report to the MIDC,” said senior inspector Aabasaheb Patil from the Tarapur Police station.