Ambarnath: A massive fire broke out at a chemical plant in Morivli, Ambarnath, on Monday afternoon, injuring four people. The blaze was doused after six hours of firefighting. The injured have been identified as Suraj Panda, 24, Saraswati Mishra, 42, Ramesh Chandalkar, 27, and Shivdas, 26.
Police alerted Central Railway authorities about the fire and for 30 minutes, local train services between Badlapur and Ambarnath were suspended, as the railway tracks are about half-a-kilometre from the factory site. According to police, the Freesia Chemical Company in Morivli manufactures pharmaceutical and perfume products. “The fire broke out around 2pm when most of the 13 workers were present. Three people suffered minor injuries as they were fleeing the factory premises.
Those remaining made it out safely,” said a fire brigade officer from the Ambarnath fire station. Around ten fire tenders from Thane, Kalyan, Ambarnath, Ulhasnagar and Dombivli and nearby areas were rushed to the spot and pressed into service to combat the blaze. Fifty private water tankers were rushed in from Ambarnath.
According to Fire Officer Bhagwat Sonawane, “We received a call from a factory around 2.15am, and rushed to the spot. We found the blaze was rapidly spreading and we needed more fire tenders, so we asked for help from other fire stations.”
“Firemen managed to douse the blaze around 7.30pm. They began with the cooling operations soon after, which continued for several hours,” said Laxman Bangare of the Ambarnath fire station.
“The reason behind the fire is still not clear. An electric short circuit may have caused it. The value of the property damaged in the accident is yet to be assessed,” a fire officer said. “The chemical tanks placed in the factory exploded after they caught fire, causing the fire to spread rapidly. Within a few minutes, it had engulfed a huge part of the plant,” police said.
Sunil Patil, assistant commissioner of police from Badlapur division said, “Panda, Mishra and Chandalkar are in hospital and are expected to be discharged shortly. Shivdas was discharged after being given first aid. The incident happened when the 13 workers were at lunch.”