Five dead, 56 injured as blast rips through chemical factory in Thane district

Thane, May 23 (PTI) At least five persons were killed and 56 injured following an explosion at a chemical factory in Maharashtra’s Thane district on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

As a boiler exploded at Amudan Chemicals located in Phase 2 of Dombivli MIDC area around 1.40 pm, its impact and the resultant blaze affected adjacent factories.

As per the preliminary information, those killed were working in neighbouring plants, said Maharashtra industries minister Uday Samant.

The plant where the explosion took place was not in operation for the last few months and had restarted only a few days ago, he told PTI.

Samant, local MP Shrikant Shinde and MLA Raju Patil visited the site inside the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area, some 40 km from Mumbai.

The blast was so loud that it was heard a kilometre away, an eyewitness said. Glass windows of adjoining buildings cracked while many houses in the vicinity were damaged, officials said.

Thick clouds of smoke could be seen hovering over the factory.

Speaking to reporters at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said a massive rescue and relief operation is underway at the site and he had directed the district collector to conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident.

Plans were afoot to shift hazardous chemical factories from Dombivli to Ambernath MIDC in the district, the CM said in reply to a question.

NDRF teams too have been called up for the rescue operations at the blast site, deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis had said earlier.

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