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Thane blast toll rises to 11, chemical stink and ash cover 4 km area

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Thane (Maharashtra), May 24: The death toll in the blast-cum-blaze of Amudan Chemicals Pvt Ltd factory in Dombivli town of Thane rose to 11 with another three bodies dug up from the rubble, officials said here on Friday.

The disaster struck the industrial unit on Thursday afternoon.

Dombivli and surroundings of an area of around 4 km woke up to a strong stench of burnt chemicals and a thin layer of smoky ash on roads, shops and homes, from Thursday’s tragedy and most people were seen moving around wearing face masks to avoid the stink.

The NDRF, SDRF and Fire Brigade, which had halted operations after dark, resumed the rescue operations and recovered three more bodies from the rubble, while another 64 persons were injured and admitted to various hospitals.

While the blaze was extinguished Thursday night, cooling operations were underway, the search continued for more victims feared trapped under the debris, and the effects of the disaster were felt in a radius of over 2-3 km.

This morning, the Amudan factory premises inside the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) resembled a war zone emitting a foul smell of burnt metal, crashed buildings, chemicals and deaths.

Late on Thursday evening, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the tragedy site and said that in view of the risks posed by certain categories of industries, the government plans to shift such hazardous factories to another location to avoid such disasters in future.

Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve, who visited the accident site this morning called for booking the factory owners on charges of culpable homicide plus ordering a thorough probe into the incident.

“The former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had planned to shift at least five factories having risk-prone units, but the subsequent government did nothing in the matter,” Danve said, pointing an accusing finger at the ruling MahaYuti regime.

The Thane Police have booked the owners of the factory, Malay Mehta and his wife Malati Mehta under various sections pertaining to negligence, culpable homicide, etc.

–IANS

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