Three persons were killed today and as many injured as a boiler exploded in a scrap yard at Davre village here, officials from the District Disaster Control room said.
The incident took place at 10 am in the Dombivli MIDC area killing the trio on the spot, they said. The explosion also triggered a fire which was later put out.
Among the dead were two workers and a car driver identified as Kalias B Rajbhar (55), Vijay R Gaur (40) and Mahilang Yadav (35), Suresh Shinde, the Station In-charge of the MIDC fire brigade at Manpada, Dombivili, said.
While two of the workers died on the spot, the driver was hit by a heavy blown-away boiler part, killing him.
According to police, the blast occurred when some workers were attempting to open a discarded chemical tanker with gas-cutters, an official of the Manpada police station said.
As some residual chemicals in the tanker came in contact with the flames from the gas-cutters, an explosion rocked the locality and the tanker was ripped apart, with some metal pieces flying over a kilometre away.
The injured have been hospitalised. Police said there were reports of cracks developing in some houses and chawls in the vicinity due to the sonic impact of the blast, but these could not be verified immediately.
Police are investigating as to who sold the tanker and why was it not properly cleaned off all residual chemicals before the disposal work started.