Five workers, including four women, were charred to death in a major fire at a cotton recycling unit in Nanekarwadi area, near Chakan, on Thursday morning.
Further loss of life was averted as the fire was controlled within 90 minutes and did not spread to a hospital and residential buildings located adjacent to the spot.
According to the information given by Chakan police, the fire started at Sana Enterprises cotton waste unit, located on Chakan Talegaon Road, around 9.45 am. One part of the unit located in tin shed had machines to shred cotton cloth into waste cotton, while the other part had a godown for storage.
Inspector Santosh Girigisavi, in-charge of the Chakan police station, said, “Prima facie, it seems that the fire started somewhere in the godown and then spread to the rest of the unit. We know that some of the workers ran towards the unit’s entrance and managed to escape. However, five of them in panic ran towards the rear side, where there was no escape route. Their charred bodies were found later by the fire brigade.” Fire brigade officials said that the exact cause of fire was not known but a short circuit was cited as a probable cause.
Fire tenders from Chakan MIDC Fire Brigade, PCMC Fire brigade and tenders from some industrial units in Chakan MIDC were pressed into action. The fire was brought under control within 90 minutes. However, complete fire-control continued for over five hours.
The deceased have been identified as Kalpana Vijay Shirsath (29), Radha Haresh Thakur (26), Ujjwala Dilip Sonsale (35), Kusum Sandeep Sakharkar (30) and Ramdas Parshuram Rathod (52), all residents of Kharabwadi, located not far from the unit.
Manik Rathod, brother-in-law of Rathod said, “The factory was started 10 months ago and Ramdas was working there since the beginning. Rathod was the bread-winner of his family. All the other people who have died are from Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. All had come here to earn money.”
Shashikant Kad, a resident, said, “On seeing smoke billowing out, we informed the police and fire brigade. We managed to rescue some of the workers.”
Offence registered against 3
Chakan police on Thursday registered an offence against the owner, Ramdas Kad, and two others who ran the unit —Mohammed Abdul Kalam Khan and Mohammed Javed Kalam Khan. They have been booked for culpable homicide.