Dombivli factory blast: Toll rises to 6, management booked

Thane: The death toll in the massive explosion at an industrial unit in Dombivli township of the district has risen to six while 159 injured were undergoing treatment, a senior official said today. Police have registered a case against the company management, he said.

A massive fire broke out at a chemical factory in MIDC Phase 2 in Dombivli area in Thane on Thursday. Pic/Satej Shinde 

The explosion occurred yesterday triggering a blaze in the chemical manufacturing unit at Shivaji Udyog Nagar of MIDC phase-II area in Dombivli (East). The death toll rose to six with the recovery of a body near the factory today, Thane District Collector Mahendra Kalyankar told PTI. The number of injured is 159, he said. A case was registered against the company management, Kalyankar said.

Removal of debris is still on, he said, adding the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is assisting in the work. The shock wave generated by the blast shattered the window panes of adjoining buildings and panic-stricken people were seen running helter-skelter, an eye-witness yesterday said.

State Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who visited the site yesterday, said the government was considering 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 an inspection and combing operation to ascertain implementation of various 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 flying glass shards.

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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