At least 13 people were killed and 58 others injured after a series of cylinder explosions hit a chemical company in Maharashtra's Dhule city on Saturday morning. Earlier there were reports that over 20 people are feared dead in the incident.
According to a senior police officer, as many as 100 workers were inside the factory, located at Waghadi village in Shirpur taluka, when the accident took place around 9:45 am this morning.
Soon after the incident, various teams of police, disaster management and fire brigade officials were rushed to the spot and put on survice to conduct rescue operations. The rescue operations were underway when the last reports came in.
"Prima facie, multiple cylinders exploded at the factory. At least eight bodies have been recovered by police and rescue teams so far. Rescue operation is on," said the Shirpur police station officer. However, the actual reason behind the explosions is yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed his anguish over the loss of the lives in the blast and directed the state government to do everything possible to assist the people in need.
"Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to explosion at a chemical factory in Dhule, Maharashtra. Have spoken to CM Devendra Fadnavis, state govt is doing everything possible to assist the people in need. My condolences with the bereaved families. May injured recover soon," Shah tweeted hours after explosion.
Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to explosion at a chemical factory in Dhule, Maharashtra. Have spoken to CM @Dev_Fadnavis, state govt is doing everything possible to assist the people in need. My condolences with the bereaved families. May injured recover soon.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 31, 2019
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also condoled the deaths at the chemical factory in Shirpur and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased.