Eight workers hurt as Taloja tarmac factory catches fire

Firemen suspect cylinder explosion in boiler room of tarmac processing unit in Taloja as the root cause of fire

Eight workers of a tarmac processing factory at MIDC in Taloja sustained grievous burn injuries after a fire broke out at the unit on Saturday night. While the victims were initially rushed to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital for immediate medicare, they were later shifted to the National Burns Centre in Airoli.

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Personnel from the MIDC fire unit work tirelessly to bring the blaze under control
Personnel from the MIDC fire unit work tirelessly to bring the blaze under control

The injured were identified as Rahul Singh (30), Rawan Singh (38), Sunil Boroko (38), Sanjay Basumatry (35), Tun Tun Singh (34), Anarl Saptal (37), Sanjay Singh (34) and Avinash Yadav (34). All of them have sustained between 30 and 90 per cent burns.

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While speaking to mid-day, an officer from the MIDC fire unit said the blaze was brought under control by 5 am on Sunday.

While investigation is on to ascertain the exact cause of fire, officers suspect a cylinder blast in the boiler room resulted in the mishap as they found an open cylinder at the site. They also claimed that the private firm, Tiki Tar Industries, had flouted all the safety norms. About 15 to 20 workers were on-duty at the time of the mishap

“We received a call form one of the works from another unit around 9:30 pm, informing us about the fire. After reaching the spot we discovered that workers were trapped inside the building. We immediately initiated a rescue operation and pulled out eight workers, who were rushed to MGM Hospital, Kalamboli, followed by Airoli burns centre. The others had managed to escape in time,” said RM Pharanbe, sub-fire officer, MIDC fire unit.

Commenting on the mishap, he said the fire started in the main plant where the tarmac was being processed, the spot where they found an LPG cylinder.

“We suspect that welding work was on inside the boiler room, which eventually lead to the fire. Not a single fire safety norm was observed. Our team controlled the fire around 5 am on Sunday,” Pharanbe added.

Though officers from Taloja police station were also present at the spot, a case is yet to be registered in this matter. When contacted, a senior police officer said an FIR would be registered after receiving a detailed report from the fire brigade.

All the calls made to unit owner RK Shah for his comment went unanswered.

Doc speak
Dr Sunil Keswani, medical director and cosmetic surgeon at National Burns Centre, confirmed that eight patients were admitted to the facility after 1 am on Sunday.

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“Of the eight, four patients have suffered over 80 per cent burns. The remaining four have sustained between 30 and 60 per cent burns. Three of the patients — who have sustained over 80 per cent burns — are on ventilator support. At the moment they are all critical but stable and responding well to treatment. We can reach a conclusion only after treatment and observation for more than 72 hours,” Keswani said.

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