India: Eighteen dead in fire at chemical plant


A fire at a chemical plant on the outskirts of Pune, western India, has claimed the lives of at least 18 persons.

When the fire broke out approximately 15:45 local time (10:15 GMT) on Monday, 37 personnel were trapped inside.

As smoke billowed from the facility, firefighters raced to the scene, breaking through barriers on both sides to save people.

Officials informed BBC Marathi that the cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained.

The plant belongs to SV Aqua Technologies, which manufactures chlorine dioxide products for use in water treatment.

It was 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Pune, in the Pirangut industrial complex, which also housed numerous other companies and businesses. The majority of the employees reside nearby.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow for the employees’ deaths and promised a monetary settlement of 200,000 rupees ($2,800; £1,900) for their families. He also promised the wounded $690 in compensation.

The Maharashtra government, where the plant is situated, has also established a $6,800 compensation package for the victims’ families.

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