On Monday, a chemical factory in the Urawade area of Pune, Maharashtra, caught massive fire in the sanitiser production unit. The local fire department reported that the fire broke out at 5 pm on 7 June 2021, and at least 37 employees were present in the unit at the time of the fire. At least six fire engines had to be rushed to the chemical plant called the SVS Aqua Technologies in Pune. According to the latest reports, at least 18 employees have died, and some are still missing.
In the visuals of some of the reporting agencies, thick black smoke could be seen over the sanitiser firm. Most people ran towards safety, and some of them stood still and watched the horrific fire. According to the fire department, fire sparks started on the premises of the sanitiser unit during the packaging of some plastic materials. There was a spark during the ongoing process of packaging, which led to a fire that spread rapidly, as there were plastic items nearby.
The brigade reportedly doused the fire by 6:43 pm, and so far, 18 bodies were recovered. The search is still going on if there is anyone still inside the factory. The rural police of Pune were also involved in the rescue and search operation along with the fire brigade. This is only one of the fire incidents out of several that have taken place in the state of Maharashtra in 2021.
Recently, on 7 May 2021, a major fire broke out in a chemical factory of Bhiwandi in the Thane district of Maharashtra. Terrifying black smokes and flames could be seen while the four fire engines and their crews rushed to the spot to extinguish the blaze. Not only chemical factories but many hospitals in Maharashtra have also caught fire in the recent past.
A major fire had erupted in the Prime Criticare Hospital at Kausa in the locality of Mumbra in Thane. According to the reports, the hospital had no coronavirus patients, but four patients had died due to the fire. Five ambulances and six fire engines were rushed to the place of the incident to extinguish the fire. At least 25 patients were evacuated from the ICU unit, and four patients died while shifting them to another hospital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on the death of the workers saying, "Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a factory in Pune, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families".
Responsibility should be taken by the local authorities to ensure such incidents do not become a regular staple for the news. Fire safety regulations need to be maintained, and factories need to have proper fire dousing gear to stop the fires from becoming catastrophic. Amid all these horrifying fire incidents in Maharashtra and trying times of the pandemic, we hope to see some hope and the light at the end of the tunnel soon.