Chemical Factory Explosion and Fire Kills 9, Injures Dozens

The search for more people is ongoing.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

May 24, 2024

1 Min Read
Explosion, fire killed 9, injured 64 more
The blast damaged nearby factories and shattered neighborhood residential windows.Paul A. Souders/Stone via Getty Images

An explosion and fire at a chemical factory in Thane, western India killed at least nine people and injured 64 others.

Rescuers are sifting through piles of debris and wreckage to search for bodies, reported AP News.

The explosion occurred in the factory’s boiler on Thursday, which led to a fire that affected nearby factories and houses in Maharashtra state’s Thane district, administrative official Sachin Shejal said.

Shejal said the blaze was extinguished and rescuers were searching through the debris to find two more bodies, though the process was hampered by the presence of huge debris.

Two bodies have been identified so far and seven are burnt beyond recognition. "We have asked the family members of the victims to submit DNA samples that can help us identify the bodies,” he said.

The cause of the explosion, which sent a huge cloud of gray smoke over the area, is being investigated.

The factory produces food coloring and uses highly reactive chemicals that can cause explosions, India’s National Disaster Response Force said.

Shejal said the explosion sent huge shock waves that damaged adjacent factories and shattered glass windows in nearby houses.

Indian police filed charges Friday of culpable homicide, including negligence in handling toxic substances, against the owners of the factory.

Fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations. Activists say builders often cut corners on safety to save costs and have accused civic authorities of negligence and apathy, AP News reported.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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