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Gujarat chemical factory blast: Two more deaths take toll to 10, unit asked to close

The state Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health has issued a closure notice to the unit and ordered safety of audit of all factories in Dahej.

By: Express News Service | Surat | June 5, 2020 1:40:10 am
gujarat chemical factory fire, bharuch factory fire, gujarat chemical factory fire deaths Thick smoke billows out of Yashashvi Rasayan Private Ltd at Dahej in Bharuch. (Source: Kamal Saiyed/File)

Two more workers of Yashashvi Rasayan chemical unit, in Dahej area of Gujarat’s Bharuch district, on Thursday succumbed to burn injuries, sustained from Wednesday’s blast at the factory. This takes the toll to 10.

The state Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health has issued a closure notice to the unit and ordered safety of audit of all factories in Dahej.

According to officials, four deceased persons were from Bihar, two from Gujarat and one worker each came from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

A 10th victim, aged around 30, is yet to be identified, officials said.

District Collector M D Modia said, “Two labourers are still in critical condition. The others undergoing treatment in hospitals are stable.”

Additional Chief Secretary, Labour and Employment, Vipul Mittra said the closure notice was issued under Section 4(2) of Factories Act. “We have started investigation. To ensure safety of workers, the unit will not be allowed to resume operations until adequate safety measures are in place,” Mittra stated.

The explosion in a chemical storage tank at Yashashvi Rasayan chemical factory, owned by the Patel Group, on Wednesday had led to six deaths on the spot. Two others died subsequently in hospital. Seventy-seven people were admitted to different hospitals in Bharuch with varying levels of injury; 33 of them have been discharged.

The nine deceased identified are: Rashmikant Chauhan (35) from Ahmedabad; Surajlal Singh Rajput (35) from Gopalganj in Bihar; Naresh Prajapati (27) of Bharuch; Pramod Yadav (26) from Sant Kabir Nagar district of UP; Munna Singh Shivprasad Singh (38) from Rohtas district of Bihar; Arun Kori (19) of Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh; Tripurari Rai (25) from Bihar’s Samastipur district; Jayant Mahato (28) from West Bengal’s Bankura district; and Hari Darshankumar Chaudhary (20) from Darbhanga, Bihar.

Factory inspector N D Vaghela, who has been at the spot since Wednesday, said, “The exact cause of blast will be known after a detailed probe, which will take a few days.”

Officials have not yet been able to enter the storage tank area given the toxicity, which Vaghela said will last for two or three more days. “We are trying to contact company authorities to find out which chemicals were stored in these tanks,” he said.

Bharuch SP Rajendrasinh Chudasma said, “For now, we investigating it as an accidental death case. We are trying to identify the deceased and contact their family members. FSL officials, factory inspector and industries safety officials are carrying out (parallel) investigations.”

He said the owners have “not yet come before the police; we are trying to contact them”.

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