Closure notice to UPL plant in Gujarat after fire, explosion kills two

By: |
February 24, 2021 12:05 AM

The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday at Unit 5 of UPL’s Jhagadia plant in Bharuch district. As per official sources, at least two people died, 20 were injured and five are still missing.

UPL said in a statement said that there was a fire followed by an explosion at approximately 1:35 am on Tuesday at one of its plants. The plant had been shut since February 5 for its annual boiler inspection.

The Gujarat government issued a closure notice to UPL’s plant in Bharuch district late on Tuesday after a fire and explosion at the agrochemical plant.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday at Unit 5 of UPL’s Jhagadia plant in Bharuch district. As per official sources, at least two people died, 20 were injured and five are still missing.

A closure notice for the entire plant has been issued, said an official with the Director Industrial Safety and Health (DISH), adding that operating the plant is a safety risk. He said the closure would take place gradually as immediate shutdown of a chemical unit may lead to another accident.

UPL said in a statement said that there was a fire followed by an explosion at approximately 1:35 am on Tuesday at one of its plants. The plant had been shut since February 5 for its annual boiler inspection.

“Since the plant was shut, there was no chemical reaction in progress. There were no chemical or gas leaks because of the fire/explosion either during or after this incident. Given the intensity, prima facie, it appears that the fire may have been caused due to fire/explosion in the solvent which could have been caused due to electric short circuit. We do not rule out possible foul play, as there was no operation at the plant,” said the statement.

It said company officials were able to get access to the site in the evening after the fire department had brought the blaze under control. “They found two fatalities at the site and an additional five workers missing. In addition, 26 workers were injured and received treatment in the hospital, of which 15 have been discharged and 11 are in the hospital. None of them are critical. The company will stand by and compensate the family members of the deceased and affected workers,” it said.

UPL has appointed an internal investigation team to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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