Everything was over in just five seconds: Dombivli factory worker recounts horror

Thane, May 25 (PTI) It was ‘pralay’ for five seconds and everything was over. That’s how Avdesh Kumar summed up the Thane factory blast that snuffed out nine lives.

Kumar was a worker at the chemical factory where a blast on Thursday also injured over 60.

“It took only five seconds and everything was finished like ‘pralay’ (cataclysm),” said Kumar, recalling the chaos and panic as metal pieces and debris flew in all directions.

Kumar spoke to the media after receiving treatment for his injuries.

“The sky was filled with flying metal pieces and glasses. It was total havoc,” said the worker, describing the devastation after a boiler exploded on Thursday at Amudan Chemicals in Dombivli MIDC area of Maharashtra’s Thane district.

The factory worker said he was hit by a “flying 5-kg angle” in the back, causing profuse bleeding and excruciating pain.

Amid the pandemonium, Kumar said he sought help from those around him but everyone was in a frenzied scramble for safety.

“Everyone was running helter-skelter, trying to save their lives,” he recounted.

The powerful blast triggered widespread destruction at the factory. “Everything was damaged, with the roof and structure collapsing. Nothing is left now,” he said.

The impact of the blast and the resultant blaze also caused damage to adjacent factories and houses, according to officials.

The affected chemical factory produced food colours and uses peroxides that are highly reactive and unstable chemicals that can cause violent explosions under certain conditions, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had said after the accident.

Police on Friday detained two owners, including a 70-year-old woman, of the chemical factory. According to the first information report (FIR), the company had not taken precautions over mixing of chemicals, final products, and their storage knowing well that any lapses might lead to an explosion which could affect and damage the company and structures around it.

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