AHMEDABAD (India) Twelve workers, including five women, were killed when a blast led to a fire and wall collapse at a godown on Pirana-Piplaj Road on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
The explosion, which took place at Sahil Enterprise owned by three partners, also demolished part of adjacent textile unit. All three partners have been apprehended.
Afire control room official said at least 26 rescue and fire fighting vehicles were pressed into service after a call regarding a fire and explosion was received around 11 am. More than 60 firefighters and three senior officers struggled for hours to control the ferocious blaze which was being fed by flammable textile materials stored inside the warehouse.
The Fire brigade personnel pulled out 18 persons from the rubble and shifted them to the LG Hospital, said chief fire officer MF Dastur.
Of the 18, 12 were either declared brought dead or succumbed to injuries shortly after getting admitted to the government-run hospital.
“We are using concrete breakers to dismantle the slabs to pull out people. Till now, we have pulled out 18 persons from the debris and sent them to the hospital,” Mr. Dastur told the media at the accident site.
The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. Some local factory owners said it took place in a boiler installed at the chemical godown-cum-processing unit.
Gujarat has been witnessing accidents in industrial factories and commercial buildings with high casualties. In August this year, 8 patients undergoing COVID-19 treatment died in a fire in a hospital in Ahmedabad city.
In June, 10 persons died in a major blast that caused massive fire in a chemical factory in Dahej.
Earlier in February, seven workers were killed in a fire in a textiles factory of the Chiripal group in the industrial area of Ahmedabad. In January, a blast and subsequent fire in a manufacturing unit near Vadodara killed six workers.
In May 2019, a massive fire in a commercial building sans any fire safety system in Surat had killed 22 students who were attending a coaching class in the building.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths.