Three persons were killed and 14 others injured following a powerful explosion at a chemical factory in the Boisar area of Palghar district late Thursday night, almost 100 km from Mumbai.
"There may be more casualties".
The fire, which had spread to the other companies, has been brought under control and efforts are on to douse it, an officer said. There were multiple explosions and fires reported, he added. "Search and rescue operation is going on". "Vibrations were felt till Palghar", a police official from Boisar police station said.
The blast took place Thursday night inside a boiler of the factory at Boisar-Tarapur industrial estate in Palghar district, about 150 km north of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra. Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adria, and Alok Nath are identified among dead.
The first blast occurred in Novaphene Specialties Private Limited in E-107 unit of MIDC at around 11.10 p.m on Thursday.
He said, "Around 11:30 pm, we came to know about the incident".
Almost 30 to 40 loud explosions were heard by locals as they came out of their houses fearing an natural disaster. "Six chemical factories were affected by it. Fire brigade teams are already at work", said Palghar Superintendent of Police (SP) Manjunath Singe. Four nearby chemical units - Bharat Rasayan, Arti Industries (a major pharma unit manufacturing vitamins), Unimax and others - were either partially or completely destroyed.
According to reports, locals believed that the explosion sounded like a "huge bomb". Tarapur Atomic Power Station, India's largest nuclear power station is also located on Boisar-Tarapur road and is just 20 kilometers away from the explosion spot. The MIDC area has over 1,100 highly flammable units.