UPDATE: 7 dead, 40-plus injured in triple explosions, fire at factories in Thane

The site now ablaze belongs to Amudan Chemicals in the Dombivli MIDC complex and its neighbours

Smoke billows from the blast and blaze at the chemical factory in Dombivali, Thane (photo: IANS)
Smoke billows from the blast and blaze at the chemical factory in Dombivali, Thane (photo: IANS)


This story has been updated with new information. Earlier versions of this story were published at 6.14 p.m. and 19:02 p.m on 23 May

Update (20:10 p.m.): The death toll is currently at 7, with uncertainty around exact figures for the injured — but it is certainly in excess of 40, as the fire brigade, police and other rescue personnel, including the NDRF, continue operations.

The bodies of five men and two women that have been recovered were charred beyond recognition, said Yasin Tadvi, chief of the disaster management cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation. The blast radius is around 5 km, it has been estimated.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde has arrived personally at the site.

Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis posted on X to say, '[The] injured are being treated at AIMS, Neptune and Global hospitals, and every kind of assistance is being provided. Praying for their speedy recovery.'

Supriya Sule, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar), also put out a condolence message and a hope that all the injured are getting adequate treatment.

Local Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anand Dubey, in an interview to ANI, rued the fact that regular inspections have failed to prevent such a tragedy, saying, "A huge accident has taken place but what is the reason behind it? The biggest reason is fire-fighting. Does regular inspection not take place?... An action is only taken when an accident takes place... The deputy chief minister and the home minister are busy with the election in other states..."

UPDATE (18:40 p.m.): It was a boiler that had exploded at Amudan Chemicals, located in Phase 2 of the Dombivali MIDC area around 1:40 p.m., and the impact and the resultant blaze affected adjacent factories too.

As per the preliminary information, those killed were working in neighbouring plants, said Maharashtra industries minister Uday Samant.

The plant where the explosion had not been operational for the last few months and had restarted only a few days ago, he told PTI.

Samant, local MP Shrikant Shinde and MLA Raju Patil visited the site inside the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area, some 40 km from Mumbai.

Plans were afoot to shift hazardous chemical factories from Dombivali to Ambernath MIDC in the district, chief minister Eknath Shinde said in reply to a question regarding the disaster.

What we reported earlier this afternoon:

At least six persons were killed and 48 others were injured after three powerful explosions were followed by a massive fire engulfing a chemical factory in the MIDC complex at Dombivali, in Thane district, this afternoon, 23 May.

The triple explosions at quick intervals were so huge that they shook nearby homes and shattered windowpanes, as terrified locals rushed out into the street. The explosions could be heard from several kilometres away, locals said.

Minutes later, a huge fire engulfed the factory, as thick clouds of smoke were seen billowing into the air even as half a dozen fire tenders, plus water tankers and rescue teams rushed to the spot.

Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that at least six persons have died already while 48 others have been rescued from the factory and rushed to nearby hospitals.

The blasts took place in a boiler at the Amudan Chemical Co. Ltd around lunchtime.

The district authorities have pressed the NDRF, SDRF and the local fire brigade into service for rescue operations, along with the police.

Attempts are on to ensure that the flames do not spread to the other industries located nearby.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in. With PTI and IANS inputs

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines