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Udaipur fire: Death toll at 3, committee to investigate case

Udaipur : The death toll reached 3 in the massive fire that broke out in a chemical factory at RIICO industrial area in Sukher on Monday near Udaipur city. Shyamlal Gameti resident of Nai village who was among the 7 people admitted in the MB hospital, succumbed to injuries on Tuesday morning. Medical condition of four others are said to be critical who have survived over 70 percent burn, sources claimed. Meanwhile the rescue team discovered the second charred body identified as Shantilal so Teja Gameti, resident of Gogunda block in Udaipur. On Monday evening, the team found one body from a water pool inside the premises that was of Rajesh who was the factory accountant. He is told to be from Bihar. The high flames had hindered the search operation that resumed on Tuesday. There were 9 workers at the time when the massive fire broke out due to short circuit. An office boy Pradeep is still missing, police said. A criminal case has been registered against the factory owners at Sukher police station under section 308 of the IPC.

Teams were busy throughout the day clearing debris from Deepa chemical and scientific house factory that exploded the previous day due to a short circuit. Administrative authorities as well as team from the Labour and Boilers department went to the factory to initiate an enquiry. Primary investigation revealed there was overstock of dangerous chemicals than the permissible storage limit that caused the series of explosion in a row. Thousands of liters of chemicals were stored in drums that exploded during the fire. The workers had jumped in the water pool to save themselves, however, the accountant who didnt knew to swim could not come out and thus was drowned. The factory owners Dinesh Harkawat and his partner Manish Talesra are absconding since the incident and their mobiles were switched off.

“A committee of experts from various departments have been framed to investigate the case who will submit a detail report at earliest” ADM (city) OP Bunkar told TOI. Collector Rohit Gupta announced a compensation of 50 thousand rupees each to the deceased’s family. Prima facie the investigation team pointed out negligence to be one of the reason for the casualty. Despite large storage of dangerous chemicals that could explode at a slightest spark, there wasn’t any fire fighting equipments inside the factory premises, neither the workers were given adequate uniform or fire proof jackets while working. The mandatory security provisions had been overlooked by the owners. Even the Labour and Boilers department had turned a blind eye by not conducting timely inspections in such units for a long time, sources claimed. There are 1350 operational factories in Udaipur district of which 150 units fall in the dangerous category that manufacture solvents, treat chemical sludge, metal waste, waste oil, crush glass etc.


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