Victims of Pune’s chemical plant accident told the story

Pune, Jun 8 (PTI) Baban Margale was there when the fire broke out at a chemical plant near Uravade village in Maharashtra’s Pune district. Baban and his wife Mangal used to work there.

Baban told reporters that he could not do anything to save his wife as the doors of the building where she worked were locked.

A total of 17 employees, including Baban’s wife Mangal (28), were killed in a fire on Monday at SVS Aqua Technologies’ chemical plant in Mulshi tehsil, 40 km from Pune. Most of the dead included women.

Despite the massive fire, locals broke down a wall of the building with the help of JCB machines, but it was too late.

Baban, father of two children, said, “My wife was working here for the last one and a half years. This was his first day after returning to work after a gap of one and a half months due to illness. He started work only yesterday after taking permission from the company officials.

Baban, 34, said, “Our group of six to seven employees came out as soon as they came out of their block. Within moments the fire spread everywhere. No one could do anything as the doors of the building were closed.

Baban’s uncle Sambhaji Gawade, who came to the hospital to collect Mangal’s body, said a case of culpable homicide should be registered against the company officials. Gawade also demanded a security related check in all the factories of the tehsil.

Sameer Kanjane, brother of another victim woman named Geeta Diwadkar (40), who lost her life in the accident, said that she was working in the company for the past six months. The fire was so severe that the bodies of many people were badly burnt, so DNA technology is being used for identification.

According to company officials, a total of 37 workers were present at the plant when the fire broke out, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s chief fire officer Devendra Pothod said. Some employees managed to escape, but 17 workers got trapped inside and died.

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