Chemical plant boiler blast toll mounts to 11, owner arrested | India News

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KALYAN: Roughly 24 hours after the reactor blast in Amudan Chemicals Pvt Ltd in Maharashtra’s Dombivli MIDC Phase 2 shook a residential neighbourhood, police arrested its absconding owner from Thane and detained his mother, who is a director in the company, in Nashik even as Maharashtra Pollution Control Board issued a closure notice to the unit.
The toll rose to 11 on Friday morning, as the authorities found three more charred bodies while clearing debris after the six-hour-long fire-dousing operations.
Only two of the 11 deceased were identified based on their dental braces and mangalsutra – Rohini Kadam (26) and Riddhi Khanvilkar (38), who both worked in the accounts department at Amudan Chemicals. The political blame-game continued even as the authorities struggled to identify the remaining nine charred bodies and finally decided to opt for genetic profiling.
Thane police arrested owner Malay Mehta late on Friday on a tip-off that he would visit the Thane’s Court naka area. A case of culpable homicide has been registered against him and others at the Manpada police station. Preliminary investigations found that proper precautions were not taken regarding the chemical process and storage of the raw material and final products, which had led to chemical explosions in the reactor, said sources.
In Nashik, Mehta’s mother, Malti, was detained for questioning by the local police. Thane police said that a comprehensive probe would be carried out into the company’s legal documents, equipment details such as age and condition, procurement details and other relevant factors.
Earlier in the day, fire brigade officials found the three bodies, said KDMC chief fire officer Namdev Chaudhary. When the blast took place, the temperature of the reactor was around 1600o centigrade. “This is the reason that people caught in the blast were so badly burnt that it’s difficult to identify them.”
Most companies around the site remained closed on Friday, even as many shop owners were seen removing the shattered glass pieces.
Of the 68 injured people in the accident, 40 were discharged from hospitals on Friday, while the remaining 28 are still undergoing treatment.
Prasad Borkar, deputy commissioner of health department of KDMC, said of the 28 admitted people, 11 were still in the ICU. The condition of one patient who sustained 40% burns is serious, while the rest are stable. Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation has set up a help desk in Shastri Nagar Hospital to aid the family members of the injured and deceased.
Maharashtra assembly opposition leader Ambadas Danve blamed govt.”The department which is responsible for industrial safety is not seen doing any work here. Companies using toxic chemicals are working freely here. Where there is a reactor, there should be a technical expert, but there is no expert working here,” he said.
However, industries minister Uday Samant told TOI, “There were delays in finding land to shift these hazardous companies… We were working on this.”

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