Ten dead, 50 injured in boiler blast at chemical factory in Dahej India’s Gujarat
Ten people were killed and 50 others suffered severe burn injuries in a fire incident triggered due to a blast in a chemical factory in Dahej Industrial Estate of Bharuch District in Gujarat on Wednesday, 3 June 2020. An explosion on June 3 killed ten workers and injured 50 others at a chemical plant in the state of Gujarat on the western coast of India. The injured workers were taken to local hospitals while around 5 000 local villagers were evacuated as a precaution. Several injured workers remain in a critical condition. Footage following the blast shows a large plume of smoke rising from the factory as workers are running from the factory. The fire was brought under control a few hours later, allowing a search and rescue operation to begin to find any trapped workers remaining in the factory. Six bodies were found after the fire was put out while two more workers died in hospital. According to a local official, methanol and xylene were stored in tanks close to the tank that exploded. According to Bharuch district disaster management authorities, around 200 workers were present inside Yashashvi Rasayan at Lakhi village on Wednesday afternoon. The noise from the blast could be heard as far as three kilometres. Even two days after the incident, the police claim that they have yet to determine the main cause of the incident and the exact chemicals that led to the explosion.
Among the injured persons include several of those working inside the plant and drivers of vehicles carrying chemicals to the plant, confirmed one of the injured workers who has been hospitalised at Baroda Heart Hospital in Bharuch. The victims were moved to Baroda Heart Hospital, Healing Touch Multi-Speciality Hospital and Global Hospital in Bharuch district. The cause of the blast is unknown, with some local media reporting that it was a boiler blast, while others suggested it occurred in a storage tank housing chemicals.
A preliminary report by local authorities said the explosion happened in a chemical storage tank and caused a fire that spread across the plant. The report added that some workers who were near the storage tank at the time were killed instantly after being covered in highly concentrated chemicals.
The Bharuch District Superintendent of Police said in a statement that an investigation has been opened and that the death toll may rise after the chemical factory site has been fully surveyed.
The National Green Tribunal, a body set up in 2010 to handle environmental disputes and issues, said it held Yashashvi Rasayan liable for the damage caused to both human lives and the environment. The six person panel, which includes retired judges and former officials, has opened an inquiry into the fire and explosion on 3 June 2020 and will submit a report within a month. The tribunal will look into the events of the incident, the cause of the explosion and those responsible, the extent of damage to lives and the environment, the steps required for compensation, and what needs to be done for restoration of the site.
The plant is owned by agrochemical company Yashashvi Rasayan Private Ltd, a subsidiary of the Patel Group.
Vizag gas tragedy
The Styrene gas leak from the LG Polymers company in Andhra Pradesh last month had reminded people of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. At least 12 people were killed and over 1,000 affected after styrene vapour leaked from LG Polymers plant at RR Venkatapuram village in Andhra Pradesh. The gas leak incident happened due to a technical glitch in the refrigeration unit of the plant.
Sources: Times Now News, Indian Express