Dombivali factory blast toll rises to 13

Mumbai, May 24 (UNI) The number of deaths in Thursday’s mega blaze at a chemical factory at Dombivali in Thane district of Maharashtra touched 13; however, the fugitive owners of the factory were arrested by police, an official said here on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Parag Manere said that police have arrested two directors and owners identified as Malati P. Mehta and her son Malay P. Mehta, from Thane and Nasik, respectively.

He said that both are original residents of Mumbai and were detained by the crime branch teams.

He further said that they are currently being interrogated, and the mother-son duo has been booked under various charges, including the stringent IPC Sec. 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and other laws like the Explosives Act, 1884, the Explosive Substances Act, and the Damage to Public Property Act.

With two more bodies recovered from the rubble, the toll in the Amudan Chemical Pvt. Ltd. factory in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) complex has shot up to 13.

Another more than 60 people were injured, many critically, in the explosions followed by a massive fire in the chemical reactor at the factory, and rescue work is still underway to trace any more victims.

The explosion occurred in the boiler of Amber Chemical Company, located in Phase 2 of the Dombivli MIDC area, the official added.

The blast was so loud that it could be heard from a kilometer away, an eyewitness confirmed. The glass windows of an adjoining building suffered cracks, while many houses in the vicinity were damaged due to the explosion.

The injured workers have been rushed to a local hospital, a civic official informed.

After the blast-cum-blaze at around 1.40 pm on Thursday, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve, Nationalist Congress Party (SP) leader Dr. Jitendra Awhad, and others visited the spot and the hospitals where the injured are being treated.

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