Nine killed in Indian pharma plant explosion
12 December 2016
The death toll in the blast and subsequent fire at the Nitika Pharmaceutical Specialities plant in Nagpur, Maharashtra, rose to nine on December 11, with four others said to be in a critical condition. The first explosion on December 2 took place in a drier unit, and was followed by other blasts and a raging fire which quickly spread to other buildings on the site.
Fire department officials found a host of violations at the plant, which is located on the Wanjra Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Nagpur. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
According to the Times of India, at the time of the incident more than 60 shift workers were on the premises, with 23 in the drier unit where the first explosion took place. Two units of the factory which contained combustible chemicals were gutted in the fire.
TOI quoted anonymous workers from the company saying the incident was caused by 'sheer negligence' of the company management, claiming that it was the sixth fire in the last six months alone.
Senior managers have been charged with causing death by negligence, as well as other charges.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the relatives of the dead and injured that they would receive compensation from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Two workers were also reported killed and another two injured after a blast in a tank at a manufacturing plant of detergent giant Nirma in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, on December 9. A company official said that the blast occurred when the labourers were installing a new liquid storage tank in the factory. "During welding there was a blast and two of the labourers died, while two others were injured," he said.