CM inquiry on chemical factory blast in Palghar

On the issue of the blast at a chemical factory in Palghar where eight people were killed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called a meeting on Monday to discuss, and whether such hazardous units should be allowed to run, state Industries Minister Subhash Desai said.

Desai also said that an inquiry would be conducted into how an under-construction factory building was allowed to carry out testings.

“Action would be taken against those found to be at fault,” the minister said.

He was speaking to reporters on Sunday after visiting the blast site in Boisar area here, located around 100 km from Mumbai, to get first-hand information about the mishap and the damage caused by it.

The blast took place on Saturday evening during the testing of some chemicals at the under-construction plant of Ank Pharma in a Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area of Boisar, killing eight people and injuring seven others, including the unit owner.

“The chief minister will discuss the issue of such industries with various department heads and ministers at ‘Mantralaya’ (secretariat) tomorrow and take a policy decision on whether to allow such hazardous industries to continue operating,” Desai said.

Meanwhile, Palghar District Collector Kailas Shinde has asked the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health and the MIDC to submit a preliminary report on the blast.

Disaster control cell chief Vivekananda Kadam said search operations were called off after the body of a missing girl was recovered from the debris at the blast site.

District Guardian Minister Dada Buse also visited the blast site on Sunday for a detailed review of the incident.

He earlier rushed to the site on Saturday night after the mishap and said as per preliminary reports, the plant had permission from the authorities concerned to carry out testing of machinery.

“However, the district health and safety officials will visit the site today and carry out an inspection. Based on their report, police will take further action,” he said.

As of now, an accidental death report has been registered, an official at Boisar police station said.

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