Eight dead in Palghar chemical factory blast

Mumbai: At least eight people were killed in a huge explosion at a chemical factory at Boisar in Palghar district on Saturday evening, a police official said. Boisar is over 100 km away from Mumbai.

The under-construction plant of Ank Pharma, where the explosion took place, is located in a Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area at Kolwade village, a police officer said.

The blast, which took place during the testing of some chemicals around 7.20 pm, was so huge that it was heard within a 15-km radius, and window panes of some houses in the surrounding area shattered, he said.

The under-construction plant building collapsed after the explosion. While eight persons were killed, the injured were being extricated from debris, the official said.

A fire started after the blast but it was doused, he added.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced assistance of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased, a statement from his office said. The chief minister was monitoring the relief and rescue operation himself, it added. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team had been called for rescue operations, officials said.

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