Two workers were killed and another was injured after a huge blast at a surfactant unit in a chemical zone in Tarapur of Maharashtra’s Palghar, police said.
The factory was operating as the state government has allowed essential service units to work during the lockdown.
Pradip Kasbe, an inspector at the Boisar MIDC police station, said the dead workers have been identified as Vijay Sawant, a 44-year-old resident of Pastal in Boisar, and Sameer Khoja, 48, from Palghar.
Runal Thakur, 35, was admitted in a hospital in Boisar, Kasbe said.
The blast took place at Galaxy Surfactants, located in Plot M 3 of Tarapur chemical zone, at 11:30am in the reactor where the raw material for surfactants was being manufactured.
The unit has 250 staff and the management had sought permission from the collector of Palghar to allow 105 workers and management personnel to work at the factory.
The sound of the blast could be heard in the 5-km periphery of the unit in Nandgaon and Murbhe villages, Kasbe said. Two fire tenders from MIDC Fire Brigade have controlled the fire due to the blast, he added.
This is the first accident during the national lockdown in an industrial unit manufacturing essential products in Palghar district.
The collector had given permission to start industries which manufacture medical products like masks, hand wash, sanitisers and other personal care and hygiene items essential for people to use to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Galaxy Surfactants was one such unit allowed to operate and Monday was the first day of its operation, said Kasbe.
“We are in the process of filing an accidental death report (ADR) and the post mortem report is awaited. We will file an FIR only after we receive a report from the director of industrial safety and health (DISH), Vasai,” Kasbe said.
Police are investigating the accident, he added.