Dombivli factory blast: Death toll rises to 11, company management booked

Chemical industries in Dombivli are likely to be shut down for a week to carry out inspections.

Thane: The death toll in the massive explosion at an industrial unit in Dombivli township of thane district on Friday mounted to eleven and 47 of the 201 injured are undergoing treatment in different hospitals, officials said today.

Police registered a case against the company management for not taking proper safety measures that allegedly led to the mishap.

The son and daughter-in-law of the founder of the chemical company, where the mishap took place, are among the deceased, police said.

The incident had occurred at about 11.30 am yesterday when cylinders exploded triggering a blaze in the chemical manufacturing unit of Probace Enterprises at Shivaji Udyog Nagar of MIDC phase-II area in Dombivli (East).

A senior officer of Manpada police station confirmed that the total number of deceased has gone up to eleven today.

The deceased include company founder's son Sumit Vakatkar and his wife Snehal, Thane police spokesperson Sukhada Narkar said.

According to Narkar, the body of Snehal was found lying on top of the security cabin on the company premises.

"Due to the impact, she was blown off and fell on the cabin," she said.

"Body of one of the deceased that was recovered yesterday, was today identified as that of her husband Sumit's," she added.

Thane District Collector Mahendra Kalyankar told PTI that, of the 201 injured, 159 have been discharged while 47 are undergoing treatment in 18 hospitals.

According to police, a case was registered against the company management at Manpada police station.

"The offence stated the company management did not take proper care and safety measures in the factory's distillation plant that resulted in the incident and death and injury to the humans," Narkar said.

Though nobody has been named in the case, the management has been booked under sections 304(2)(culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC, the officer said.

Meanwhile, work of removal of debris is still on and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is assisting in the work.

Chief of the disaster control cell of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), Deepak Patil, said now only 25 per cent debris removal work was left and it is likely to be over by night.

The blast was so intense that the window panes of adjoining buildings were shattered and panic-stricken people ran helter-skelter.

State Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who visited the site yesterday, said the government would consider shifting chemical industrial units in and around Dombivli to alternative locations for which suitable legislative changes would be effected.

Chemical industries in Dombivli are likely to be shut down for a week to carry out inspections and combing operations to ascertain implementation of safety and security measures, the minister said.

Meanwhile, the district authorities were assessing the damage caused to other properties and houses in the vicinity of the factory due to the explosion.

Roof of some of the houses in the vicinity were blown away while some huts were damaged. The explosion has created a big crater at the site.

Among the injured were those hit by glass shards that flew off.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited the blast site yesterday and also the hospital where some of the injured were admitted.

"State government will bear all the expenses for their medical treatment," he had said, adding that an in-depth inquiry will be conducted into the incident.

"This is a serious and major incident. The government would conduct a detailed inquiry," he said.

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