Explosion at Tarapur plant kills 4, injures 16

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A possible equipment malfunction caused a massive explosion at a manufacturing facility of Aarti Drugs Limited, a listed company, in MIDC area of Tarapur Friday, killing four people and injuring 16.

Two employees of the plant were missing at the time of going to press.

Rescue workers were clearing debris in the hope of finding the missing.

The deceased have been identified as engineer Pooja Wade (23), instrument engineer Pradeep Patil (22), works manager Sachin Pujari (30) and electrical engineer Surendra Sardar (48), residents of Palghar and nearby areas. Pooja had been recruited only three days ago.

Police said the blast brought a three-storey building down. The explosion was reported to Thane Rural Police control room at around 11.45 am.

The information was relayed to Boisar police as well as fire brigade, after which several fire tenders and ambulances were rushed to the plant. Rescue efforts began within an hour.

"As the entire building collapsed, plant employees did not get a chance to escape. They were crushed under the debris," said senior inspector U D Sonawane, Boisar police.

By 9 pm, police had pulled out four bodies and admitted four injured employees to hospitals in Boisar and Tarapur.

Ten others were discharged after first aid, while the critically injured Rooplal Badhram (49) was shifted to KEM Hospital in Sion.

"We have been informed by forensic experts that the incident occurred after a large reactor exploded due to overheating. The resulting blaze reached two spots in the building where chemicals were stored, causing more explosions and building collapse. We examining safety measures and grounds to register a case of causing death due to negligence," said Sonawane.

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