Officials said the fire broke out at SVS Aqua Technologies’ plant, which produces chlorine dioxide. The plant is located in Piragunt area of Mulshi tehsil near Pune city.
Sandesh Shirke, sub-divisional magistrate of Mulshi division, said, “18 bodies have been recovered so far. We have called off the search operation due to darkness and heat created by the fire.
Chief fire officer of PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority) Devendra Potphode said that six to seven fire tenders were sent to douse the fire at the plant and the fire has been brought under control and the search is on for the missing personnel.
Asked about the cause of the fire, Potfode said that according to company officials, the fire broke out while packing plastic material in the premises.
He said that the fire started due to some spark in the packaging portion and it spread rapidly due to the plastic around it.
Pune district superintendent of police Dr Abhinav Deshmukh said the plant produces chlorine dioxide for water purification.