A chemical plant at Pune’s Pirangut town was ravaged by a blaze around 3.45 pm on Monday. The incident claimed 17 lives out of which 15 were women who were burned to death leaving two other critically injured. Walls at either end of the SVS Aqua Technologies plant were tried to break down using earth movers and other equipment so as to save those trapped inside but the rescuse efforts went in vaid when the blaze grew it’s intensity making the trapped ones its prey.
Bodies of the victims were charred beyond recognition and for the process of identification and postmortem were sent to Sassoon General Hospital where most of the victims were found to be residents of Mulshi taluka. To cushion the victim’s kin, an amount of ₹5 lakh is promised to be given by state government as stated by the district guardian minister and Deputy CM, Ajit Pawar. Along with the same, an ex gratia of ₹2 lakh has been announced to be given by the PMO to the families of those who lost their lives and an ₹50,000 to the injured from PM National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
The intense blaze was fought by 50 firefighters and around eight fire tenders. Victims were found clinging to each other in a desperate attempt to stay together, multiple such groups were found by the fire brigade officials. An inquiry has been ordered by Rajesh Deshmukh, Pune’s district collector. As per Abhinav Deshmukh, Pune rural SP, they shall wait before a preliminary report is issued on the incident by the inquiry panel.
The SVS Aqua Technologies manufactures and exports water, air and surface treatment chemicals, systems and solutions. According to Sagar Shah, company’s export executive, a fire audit of the unit had revealed no signs of negligence.