INDIA. Mumbai: Seventeen workers died and nearly 20 workers feared trapped in a massive fire that broke out at SVS Aqua Technologies, located in Urawade in Pune district’s Mulshi taluka on Monday evening.
The fire was first spotted around 5 PM at the plant of SVS Aqua Technologies in the Pirangut MIDC area in Mulshi tehsil. Eight fire engines, six from the fire department of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), and two from Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) were able to douse the blaze reportedly by 6:45 PM. Now the cooling operations are on.
The dead included 15 men and two women. A total of 37 workers were inside the factory. Devendra Potphode, chief of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) Fire Brigade said that the efforts to retrieve missing workers are still on. The company is involved in the manufacturing, supply, and export of air, water, and surface treatment chemicals.
As per the preliminary information, the fire broke out when the plastic used for packing caught fire which spread out rapidly engulfing the entire area. Thick smoke and flames emanating from the blaze caused panic in the area. A Pune Rural Police team soon reached the spot to manage the crowd, and the law and order situation.
Pune District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said while the fire has been controlled, all the areas of the factory aren’t accessible yet. The search is still on and the count may go up. The total casualty will become clear only after the entire area is searched. He said an inquiry has been instituted under Sub-divisional Magistrate, Maval, with fire officers and police officers as members, to determine the cause of the fire and if there were any violation of the safety measures the plant should have been following.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced an ex gratia assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those who died in the fire. PMO has announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh for families of the deceased and Rs.50,000 for those who have been injured in the fire. “Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a factory in Pune, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families,” PM Modi tweeted.