18 people were killed, and 20 others were injured after a fire broke out Monday at the SVS Aqua Technologies chemical plant in Pune, India, local and international news organizations reported.
The blaze ignited at about 3:45 p.m. at the facility, trapping more than 35 people inside the structure, coverage by the BBC said. Responding crews were forced to break into the structure’s walls to free the workers.
SVS Aqua Technologies manufactures chlorine dioxide and other chemical products at the Pune Plant, an account by The New Indian Express said. A fire official, citing information provided by the company, told the newspaper that the blaze was possibly started by a spark in an area used for packaging plastic materials.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office pledged to provide 200,000 Indian rupees, or about $2,750, to the families of the deceased workers, as well as funds to support those who were injured in the incident, Reuters said.