A massive fire at a factory in Pune district’s Mulshi taluka on Monday claimed the lives of 18 workers. Most of the victims were women, according to fire brigade officials.
The fire was reported at SVS Aqua Technologies, a factory in Urawade near Pirangut in Mulshi taluka, around 3.30 pm, said Pune Rural Police.
On receiving information about the fire, teams of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) fire brigade rushed to the spot with six fire tenders, water tankers and fire-fighting equipment.
The loss of lives of workers, mostly women, in a fire accident at a factory in Pune is extremely unfortunate. My condolences to the families of the deceased. I pray for speedy recovery of the injured.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) June 7, 2021
Fire brigade officials confirmed that 18 persons, most of whom were women, died in the incident. PMRDA fire chief Devendra Potphode said 37 workers were inside the factory when the fire broke out. Eighteen of the workers died in the blaze and several others were injured.
After a rigorous fire-fighting operation, the fire was extinguished by around 6.30 pm and a cooling operation was carried out. Pune District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh and senior police officers visited the incident site later.
“An inquiry has been instituted under the sub-divisional magistrate, Maval, with fire officers and police officials as members, to determine the cause of the fire and to ascertain if there were any violations of safety measures that the plant should have been following,” said Deshmukh.
Abhinav Deshmukh, superintendent of Pune Rural Police, said the factory where the incident took place manufactures chlorine dioxide tablets for water purification.
Meanwhile, the huge amount of smoke and flames emanating from the blaze caused panic in the area. A team of Pune Rural Police soon reached the spot to manage the crowd and the law and order situation.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has announced assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those who died in the fire.
“The district collector has ordered an inquiry. Police have lodged an offence. Responsibility will be fixed on the basis of the inquiry report. Priority is being given to bring the fire situation under complete control and provide treatment to the injured,” said Pawar in a statement released to the press.
Police said some of the bodies recovered from the site were charred and they were trying to identify all the deceased.