18 die in India chemical factory fire

At least 18 workers died in a fire that broke out at a chemical factory in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on Monday, officials said.

The blaze started during packing of plastic materials at the sanitiser-manufacturing unit of SVS Aqua Technologies in the state’s Pune city and soon engulfed the factory.

Within minutes, some 10 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.

“Some 37 workers were inside at the time. While 19 died in the fire, the remaining have been rescued by fire fighters,” a senior fire official told the local media.

Local TV channels beamed footage of white smoke billowing out of the factory. Quoting unnamed sources, a few channels reported that “several other workers are missing”.

In his condolence message to the bereaved families, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a factory in Pune.”

A probe has been ordered into the fire, the official said.

In January this year, at least five people were killed in another major fire at a Covid vaccine manufacturing plant owned by the Serum Institute of India in the same city.

Source: United News of Bangladesh