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Indian pesticide plant explosion injures 18

05 July 2012

18 workers were injured after a reactor exploded at the Nagarjuna Agrichem factory at Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, on June 30. According to a press release issued by the company, 40 staff were on duty at the time and three of the 18 have been sent to hospital with serious injuries.

The unit produces pesticides and agrochemical products sold in over 20 states across India.

The blast released thick black clouds of smoke and rattled windows in 10 nearby villages, causing panicked residents to run out of their houses. 

It reportedly took place when workers were testing a new chemical in the reactor which has a 10,000 litre capacity. At the time of the incident, however, only about 1,100 litres of chemical was in the reactor, and a management representative said that high pressure in the reactor might have caused the blast.

According to the Times of India, local politician Meesala Neelakantham Naidu had to face the wrath of employees of the chemical plant when he visited the blast site later that day. The MLA was forced to flee the premises under police protection after being attacked.

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