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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Thane factory blast: Directors in police custody till May 31; could be an act of god, says lawyer

The impact of the blast on May 23 at the chemical factory, located at Dombivli MIDC, was so severe that it shattered window panes of houses and damaged cars, roads and electric poles in the vicinity

PTI Thane Published 29.05.24, 08:20 PM
Officials inside the chemical factory area at Dombivli where a blast on Thursday killed at least nine people and injured 60, in Thane district, Friday, May 24, 2024

Officials inside the chemical factory area at Dombivli where a blast on Thursday killed at least nine people and injured 60, in Thane district, Friday, May 24, 2024 PTI

A court in Maharashtra’s Thane district on Wednesday remanded till Friday two directors of a chemical company where a blast killed ten persons and injured 60 others, with their lawyer claiming it could be an “act of god”.

The police presented the directors of Amudan Chemicals – Malay Mehta and his wife Sneha Mehta – before the Kalyan magistrate court seeking their custody for further investigation.

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The counsel for the couple told the court that a heatwave caused chemical and chain reactions, triggering the blast in a reactor that day. “This might be an act of god,” he said, expressing sympathies for the affected families.

After hearing both sides, the court remanded the two directors in police custody till May 31.

The impact of the blast on May 23 at the chemical factory, located at Dombivli MIDC, was so severe that it shattered window panes of houses and damaged cars, roads and electric poles in the vicinity.

After the incident, the police had arrested Malay Mehta (38). Sneha Mehta (35) was not named in the FIR registered by the police last week in connection with the blast.

On Tuesday, the police summoned Sneha and placed her under arrest after detailed questioning as prima facie her involvement was established in the case, the crime branch official said earlier.

A probe team also visited the residence of Mehtas in neighbouring Mumbai and collected some documents vital to the ongoing probe, the official said.

State Industries Minister Uday Samant on Tuesday said a three-member high-level committee comprising principal secretaries of the Industries, Labour and Environment departments has been formed to probe the incident and it will submit its report in three weeks.

An expert team from New Delhi will also conduct a probe to ascertain the exact cause of the blast even as efforts were underway to locate missing workers, if any, state Labour Minister Suresh Khade said on Monday.

In view of similar incidents in some factories situated in the Dombivali MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) area in the past, local people have been demanding that companies be shifted to other locations.

According to residents, the Dombivali industrial area was located on the outskirts of the city but with rapid urbanisation, new housing schemes have come up in its vicinity.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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