Pollution

Dahej blast: 3 dead, 32 injured in chemical factory accident

The number of casualties is expected to rise as many victims have received 70 per cent burn injuries  

 
By Rajat Ghai
Last Updated: Wednesday 03 June 2020
The blast at the Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd unit occurred at 12 noon. Photo: Salim Patel
The blast at the Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd unit occurred at 12 noon. Photo: Salim Patel The blast at the Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd unit occurred at 12 noon. Photo: Salim Patel

At least three workers have died and more than 32 injured in a blast at a chemical factory in the port of Dahej in south Gujarat’s Bharuch district, according to sources.

The blast took place at the unit of Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd. The company was registered in 2016. Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd manufactures agrochemicals and organic intermediates.

“The blast occurred at 12 noon. It was followed by a fire. The fire department rushed to the spot and declared an offsite emergency,” a source told Down To Earth on the phone.

Videos and photographs being circulated on social media showed a thick plume of smoke emanating from the site of the blast.

Two villages in the vicinity have been evacuated following the blast. “The number of casualties is expected to rise as many of the victims of the blast have received 70 per cent burns,” the source added.

Dahej, where the blast took place, is a major cargo port on the Gulf of Khambhat. It is the location of a number of industrial units.

The deputy director of industrial safety and health, Gujarat government and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board are investigating the cause of the blast. The unit of Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd has been ordered to close by the government.

This is the second industrial accident in India in less than a month. On May 7, 2020, styrene gas leaked from the LG Polymers chemical plant in RR Venkatapuram village near Gopalapatnam on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

The resulting vapour cloud spread over a radius of about three kilometres, affecting the nearby areas and villages. Eleven people were killed and more than 1,000 people became sick after being exposed to the gas, according to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Preliminary investigations have blamed the accident on the lapses on part of LG Polymers Pvt Ltd.

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