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8 Dead After Chemical Plant Explosion

Eight people died and several more were injured after an explosion Saturday night at the under-construction Ank Pharma plant in Boisar, about 60 miles from Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra.

Included among the deceased was a 13-year-old, Khushi Yadav.

According to Ashok Khot, deputy director of Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH), Vasai, Ank Pharma did not have the required permissions to operate. The company’s owner, Natwarlal Patel, failed to apply for the license and registration under the Factory Act, 1948. Khot also said the industrial unit did not have the approval from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Thane, to manufacture drugs in bulk quantities.

“We will conduct a detailed inquiry into the cause of the blast,” said Khot. “But prima facie, it appears that hydrogen cylinders used for the reactor testing may have caused the explosion.”

Maharashtra's chief minister announced the families of the deceased would each receive $7,046 in financial assistance.

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