40 blasts in Tarapur chemical unit, tremors felt 12km away

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At least three people were killed and around a dozen others injured in a massive blast that triggered fire inside a chemical factory in India's western state of Maharashtra, police said Friday.

There are chemical drums inside these companies, due to which the fire is spreading, he said. The search operations for suspected labourers who may be trapped inside will start after that. As per initial reports, a boiler containing industrial solvent burst under high temperature and pressure. The 14 injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, of which at least two are said to be critical, and may have to be shifted to Mumbai.

The blaze spread to six other factories before it was controlled by firefighters, police said. Six factories- Novaphene, Unimax, Prachi, Arti, Bharat Rasayan, Darbar were affected by fire. The deceased have been identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Alok Nath and Janu Adaria.

"Around 11:30 pm, we came to know about the incident". We are probing and the guilty will be charged under relevant sections of the IPC and we may recommend the government to cancel the manufacturing license of the guilty units,"Narnaware told Hindustan Times".

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Loyal eyewitnesses said that the explosion sounded like a bomb when they were preparing to retire for the night.

Scared and shaken many mistook it for an natural disaster and hundreds rushed out on to the streets and sat there for hours. Tarapur MIDC was the most important, as there are around 1,100 chemical units which store hazardous and flammable chemicals here.

Tarapur Atomic Power Station, which is also situated on Boisar-Tarapur Road is around 20 kms away from the spot.

Fire fighting and rescue operations are on as many workers are believed to be stuck in the factories, another official said.

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