Two workers died, 23 were injured and five were still missing after a massive fire erupted following an explosion at a chemical factory in the Bharuch district of Gujarat on early Tuesday morning, police said. The incident took place at United Phosphorus Limited's plant in Jhagadia GIDC industrial area, said inspector P H Vasava of the local police station.
The fire started after a blast around 2 am, he said. While local sources said it was a boiler blast, the police official did not specify and said probe was on.
The factory made chemicals used in the pharmaceutical industry, sources said. "Two bodies have been found so far from the debris inside the factory. Search is underway for five workers who are still missing," inspector Vasava said.
As many as 23 other workers were injured in the fire and nine of them were hospitalized, he said. The blast was so powerful that it was heard a long distance away, the inspector said.
Around 15 fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control by 6.30 am, he added. The state's Labour and Employment Department issued orders to close the unit and said it will review its safety aspects. It also ordered the factory owners to pay ex-gratia compensation to the deceased workers' families, it said in a release.