Mangesh Mankar is overwhelmed — by relief and guilt. The 24-year-old worker of Probace Enterprises’ chemical factory at Dombivli’s MIDC Phase II, which saw multiple explosions on Thursday, claims to be the only survivor among the seven workers of the ill-fated premises.
Mankar, who is undergoing treatment at Shivam Hospital in Dombivli, says he arrived — as usual — at 7 am on Thursday and was working at the big plant of the factory, towards the rear of the premises with workers Kishor Bhosale, Mayuresh, who had joined just the day before, and Shushant Kamble, and his boss, Nandan Wakhatkar (32). The blast occurred at the small plant near the entrance.
Debris cleared from the site of the blasts in Probace Enterprises’ factory in MIDC Phase-II in Dombivli. The rescue operations ended yesterday
"As soon as we heard the noise [from an explosion], we started running. But in a second, I was flung into the air,” he recalls. Mankar landed a little away and lost consciousness for a few minutes. When he came to his senses, all he saw were raging fires around. “I couldn’t see a thing through the fire and the smoke," he says.
The worker managed to limp towards another factory behind to save himself. “I suspected that another explosion was minutes away. So, I got as far away as I could. If I hadn’t moved from there, I could have been trapped under debris," he says.
Mankar had joined Probace’s factory just seven months ago. "There are workers there who had been around for over 40 years. Nothing like this tragedy ever occurred before. Words can’t begin to describe the horror I saw.”