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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Pune: One dead as fire breaks out in factory, 3 injured while trying to escape blaze

Officials said more than 15 workers were inside the factory when the fire broke out.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: September 17, 2021 4:16:26 am
The fire was brought under control after an hour-long effort that involved eight fire tenders. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

One person was killed in a fire that broke out in a factory in an industrial cluster in Nanded Phata area in Pune on Thursday morning. Three workers
also sustained injuries when they jumped from the windows of the first-floor unit to escape the fire.

Fire Brigade officials said the blaze started at about 10.15 am and was brought under control after an effort that lasted for over an hour and involved eight fire tenders. The factory manufactures cake sparklers, a popular and inflammable item used for birthday and anniversary celebrations.

When the fire broke out on Thursday morning, 18 workers were inside the factory, said Fire Brigade officials.

Fire tenders from Pune Fire Brigade and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) were pressed into action.

The factory is located on the first floor of a ground plus one storey building named Bhau Industrial Estate, in an industrial cluster at Nanded Phata on Sinhagad Road. The presence of explosive powder stock at the factory also led to three explosions during the fire, causing panic in the area.

Inspector Sadashiv Shelar, in-charge of Haveli police station, which has jurisdiction over the area, said, “Primary investigation suggests that the fire started during the handling of the flash powder used in the sparklers, possibly because of its proximity to a light bulb and heating caused by it. There were 18 persons on the factory floor when the fire started. We believe that the person who could not escape, and whose charred body was found later, is the person who ran the unit, Datta Digambar Bendre. But the body was charred beyond recognition, so the identity can only be ascertained after a DNA test. While most of the other workers managed to escape the fire early, three of them jumped from the windows and were hurt as they landed on the ground. These three persons have no burn injuries.”

They added that more than 15 workers were inside the factory when the fire broke out.

The three injured workers have been identified as Vinayak Kotaknur, Rama Gaikwad and Minakshi Sonavane,

After receiving calls to the control room, fire tenders from the fire brigades of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) were pressed into action.

Chief Fire Officer of Pune Fire Brigade, Prashant Ranpise, said, “We recovered the charred body while our team was still trying to control the fire. The unit manufactured sparklers that are used on festive cakes. We believe they were assembling these sparklers by filling the flash powder in the small cylindrical holders made of cardboard. The storage of highly inflammable powder and stacks of cardboard holders aggravated the fire.”

PMRDA Fire Chief Devendra Potphode said, “The fire was brought under control after an operation that lasted for about an hour. It was followed by a cooling operation to avoid any secondary fire.”

“We have sought all the documentation related to the factory. We will ascertain whether the factory had all necessary permits and safety clearances. We will also seek clarity on the ownership and the management of the unit. If our probe finds that negligence on the part of any person caused the fire, legal action will be initiated accordingly,” added Inspector Shelar.

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