India: 6 workers killed in factory fire, 13 in hospital with burns

The fire broke out due to a chemical reactor leak


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Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:13 AM

Fire raged through a pharmaceutical factory after an explosion in Andhra Pradesh state in southern India, killing at least six workers on night shift and burning 13 others, police said Thursday.

The fire broke out due to a chemical reactor leaking monomethyl nitric acid — used for manufacturing several types of polymers — which caused an explosion on Wednesday night, Police Officer Rahul Dev Sharma said.

Five workers died on the spot and another succumbed to burns in a hospital. The 13 hospitalized workers were in critical condition as they suffered 80 per cent burns, Sharma said.

The cause of the leak is being investigated, he said.

The factory is located in Akkireddygudem, a village in Andhra Pradesh state. Media reports said it took two hours to extinguish the blaze.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit in a New Delhi factory producing handbags and other items killed 43 people. In a second major fire that year, a blaze in a six-story building’s illegal rooftop kitchen killed 17 people, also in New Delhi.

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